Alcohol strategy delayed further as alcohol admissions soar

Haringey Council is failing to protect residents from the effects of alcohol misuse it has been revealed by the Liberal Democrats. Despite annual alcohol-related admissions to local hospitals doubling in five years, Haringey Council’s forward plan shows that a decision to examine the Council’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, which expired in April 2008, has been further delayed to 18 November 2008. This leaves Haringey Council without an up-to-date approach to tackling the effects of alcohol misuse.

The alcohol strategy is one of the forty-eight decisions currently on Haringey Council’s forward plan with delays that total 4,813 days (more than 13 years).

Latest government figures show that twice as many people from Haringey were admitted to hospital for alcohol related crime as in 2002, the number of crimes attributed to alcohol in Haringey was 3,403, the number of hospital admissions due to alcohol was 2,616 and the number of young people under 18 admitted to hospital due to alcohol was 34.

Cllr Ron Aitken, Liberal Democrat Crime and Community Safety Spokesperson, commented:

“Haringey Council’s lack of actions seems to suggest they have turned a blind eye to the misuse of alcohol and the effects this has on the residents of Haringey.

“Alcohol is a known reason for many incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in every borough. A clear plan to help vulnerable people, including children and young people, must be on Haringey Council’s agenda but again this decision has been delayed.”

Lynne Featherstone MP added:

“It is extremely concerning the low priority this Labour-led council is giving to such an urgent problem. All the figures point to alcohol abuse being a growing problem locally and yet Haringey Council’s leaders have dithered and procrastinated over implementing a new strategy for action.

“What is even more worrying is that whilst they were supposed to be bring forward plans to help those negatively affected by alcohol misuse, they still found time to rush through plans for a new Civic Centre. You have to question where their priorities lie.”