Cheers! Government gives £10,000 to tackle Reading's drink problem
Published: 24 Jul 2012 17:155 comments
READING has today been awarded £10,000 by Government to tackle problem drinking and related anti-social behaviour.
The borough is one of 10 local authority areas to receive the funding - aimed at testing innovative ideas to tackle the issues.
The Department for Communities and Local Government wants the money to be used for grassroots projects bringing together the police, community groups, youth centres, local authorities, retailers and hospitals.
Baroness Newlove, the Government's champion for active, safer communities, said: "I am convinced that the solution to underage and binge drinking and the crime and anti-social behaviour that comes in its wake can only be found when everyone, those affected and those paid to stamp it out, come together with total resolve to tackle it head-on.
"It's not about huge amounts of money either, some of the best most effective approaches involve pooling resources, sharing information and improving existing communications.
"These ten areas have impressed me with a local plan involving community activists, police, health workers and the retail trade and I want other communities facing similar problems to learn from their innovative example.
"For too long, a small minority has impacted adversely on our happiness, health and security.
"We have to change society's tolerance to this unacceptable behaviour and the fight-back will be sown in these grassroots partnerships.
"Their success will be helped by the range of community powers available to them through new Government legislation and I shall be mentoring them and encouraging them throughout."
The funding announcement follows the launch of an initiative led by the Community Alcohol Partnership in Caversham.
The partnership scheme - which includes Highdown School in Emmer Green and traders - is aimed at tackling underage alcohol sales and hot-spot areas of drink-related anti-social behaviour.
It will include regular police patrols of known trouble spots, training for shop workers and a non-punative test purchasing event.
A similar scheme was previously piloted in Tilehurst and led to the test purchase failure rate falling from 33% to 0%.