New campaign to tackle binge drinking on coast

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SCARBOROUGH Council chiefs are set to adopt a new three-year strategy to tackle alcohol abuse that is rife along the North Yorkshire coast.

The Council’s cabinet is set to meet next week to agree to the alcohol harm reduction strategy - the second to be adopted to focus on what experts now consider to be the main issue alongside obesity damaging people’s health in the district.

The previous alcohol harm reduction strategy, which has been developed by the North Yorkshire Coast Community Partnership, has secured a number of achievements including developing new services for young people and employing a dedicated alcohol hospital accident and emergency worker.

Coun Brian Simpson, Scarborough Borough Council cabinet member for safer communities, said he hopes the new strategy will now build on those foundations to stop the issue reaching crisis point. “It is vital that we continue that work and maintain it as much as we can into the future,” he said.

“We have put a lot of strong foundations in place now.

“Alongside obesity this is the main health issue for the area and we are making good progress with it.

“However, it is also down to people taking responsibility for themselves. Alcohol abuse is not just a problem in Scarborough and North Yorkshire but all over the country – to really address it we need a whole culture change.”

The details of the new strategy – which runs between 2012 and 2015 – are yet to be finalised. However, it is believed to include a renewed focus on working with schools to tackle teenage binge drinking.

NHS North Yorkshire and York has launched a number of projects to tackle excessive drinking, smoking and obesity levels in Scarborough said.

Last week, the Yorkshire Post revealed that the district has seen an increase in obesity prevalence based on data from the Health Survey for England, a rise higher than the North Yorkshire and national average.

The Cambridge Centre, which works to combat alcohol abuse in Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale, set up a mobile advice centre in Scarborough over the festive period.