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ONLY FAIR THAT 'POLLUTERS' PAY FOR EFFECTS OF BINGE DRINKING

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It is only fair that the 'polluter', not the taxpayer, should pick up the bill for pressure that alcohol-related di...
It is only fair that the 'polluter', not the taxpayer, should pick up the bill for pressure that alcohol-related disorder places on public services, local government leaders said today in response to the publication of the Violent Crime Reduction bill.

The bill gives councils and the police powers to designate 'Alcohol Disorder Zones' and spells out how the pubs and clubs in these zones would be required to make a contribution towards the costs of dealing with it, under the 'polluter pays' principle.

Bryony Rudkin, chair of the LGA's Safer Communities Board, says: 'Currently it's the taxpayer who pays for disorder and we fully back the 'polluter pays' idea whereby the pubs and bars that cause the trouble contribute to dealing with it. Councils would be well placed to work in partnership with local agencies to oversee such a system and committed to ensuring that remuneration is dealt out fairly.'

'We would also welcome powers to ban known troublemakers from certain areas and to close down premises that consistently sell alcohol to under 18s.'

'Although much of the focus has been on policing, it's important not to overlook the costs to councils of cleaning up - the frequently serious acts of vandalism caused by binge drinkers all add up for the council taxpayer.'

'However, question marks remain over the detail of how the new levying system would work. It needs to take account of many different factors, including capacity and style of establishment, and it will need to be worked out in great detail with local communities and local authorities.'

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Contact: LGA Press and Public Affairs

LGA press office, on 0207 664 3187. Out of hours please call 0207 664 3333 to obtain contact details for the out of hours duty officer.

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