"Councils are committed to ensuring that those that need help with alcohol misuse get the right support and treatment."
Responding to today’s report by the Office for National Statistics on adults’ alcohol drinking habits in Great Britain in 2017, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Councils are committed to ensuring that those that need help with alcohol misuse get the right support and treatment. In the past year, local authorities spent around £227 million preventing and treating alcohol misuse in adults and £997 million since they took responsibility for public health in 2013.
“However, cuts to councils’ public health grant by central government means effective outreach work is being restricted to only a small proportion of those that need support. Latest studies show four out of five adults dependent on alcohol are not getting into treatment – clearly more work needs to be done to investigate the reasons for this, but we need to fund these services appropriately.
“To help avoid compounding acute pressures for criminal justice and NHS services further down the line, reductions in the public health grant need to be reversed, more money needs to be invested in cost-effective prevention work and councils need to be given a public health objective when deciding on licensing applications.”
Notes to editors
- The previous Government reduced councils' public health grant by £331 million from 2016/17 to 2020/21. This followed a £200 million in-year reduction in 2015/16.
- More than 595,000 adults are alcohol-dependent and are potentially in need of specialist treatment, with four out of five adults dependent on alcohol not receiving treatment, according to a Public Health England report.
- The Office for National Statistics study on adults’ alcohol drinking habits in Great Britain in 2017