Moves to cut binge drinking

NEW moves to try and cut binge drinking have been today been welcomed in Ipswich.Yates Group, which owns more than 130 bars across the country – including one in Tower Street, Ipswich - has said it will enforce new drinking rules and from November 1 no drinks will be sold for less than a pound – making the cheapest pint £1.

NEW moves to try and cut binge drinking have been today been welcomed in Ipswich.

Yates Group, which owns more than 130 bars across the country - including one in Tower Street, Ipswich - has said it will enforce new drinking rules and from November 1 no drinks will be sold for less than a pound - making the cheapest pint £1.25.

Cocktail jugs will also have a reduction in the number of alcoholic shots used and all-you-can-drink offers will be stopped.

The company is the first to enforce a minimum price scheme across its bars.

The announcement has been welcomed by Paul West, Ipswich Borough Council's portfolio holder for communities.

He said: "I think it is time the drinks industry showed some social responsibility.

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"The social consequences of drinking and alcohol are picked up by the tax payer and I hope this sets the scene for the rest of the drinks industry."

Mr West said he hoped the new policy would be taken further.

He said: "There could be a case for saying it should go further but at least it's a move from the industry.

"We don't for one minute have the impression that all the ills will be cleared by this one move but what it at least does is start a new trend.

"Let's welcome it as a good start and hope that Yates build on it and other people in the industry follow their lead.

"Cheap drinks are having more and more of a social consequence with drunk people causing a disturbance.

"We can't go on like we are at the moment."

Michael Collins, chairman of Pub Watch in Ipswich said the move would help contribute to the fight against binge drinking.

"We want Ipswich to be a safe place to drink and if they want to introduce this and stand by their words I will back them up.

"I love Ipswich and I think it's a great town, I would hope that the binge drinking will stop and the people who think they can wreck places will be stopped.

"I'm not overwhelmed by this but I will say it is a step in the right direction."

Suffolk Police deputy chief constable Gillian Parker said: "As part of it's campaign to reduce alcohol fuelled violent crime, Suffolk Police is working closely with licensees throughout the county to ensure that they take a responsible attitude to the management of their patrons both inside and outside their premises.

"We welcome the Yates initiative and feel sure that the group can only benefit from creating a safer environment for their staff and their patrons."

Does the move go far enough? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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