Alcohol blackspots across Dundee should face tougher licensing restrictions, according to health experts.
The Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP) suggested that there is an over-provision of alcohol in the city, which is causing a number of health and crime issues.
Dr Drew Walker, pictured, who headed the presentation to the council’s licensing board, recommended it should consider refusing any new licences for alcohol sales unless an applicant can prove they will not be adding to the problem.
“There is a substantial body of evidence that increased availability of alcohol is associated with increased consumption, and that measures to limit the availability, accessibility and affordability of alcohol would have a beneficial impact in reducing both consumption levels and alcohol-related harm,” Dr Walker said.
Failing a city-wide imple-mentation of the restriction, the ADP representatives called for Maryfield, Coldside, Lochee, East End and the North East to be restricted, as these areas suffer the most from alcohol-related social problems.
However, North East councillor Gregor Murray hit back at the group’s figures, suggesting that given his ward has low alcohol provision but relatively high instances of alcohol-related difficulties the argument that over-provision is the problem does not add up.
Speaking at the licensing board meeting, the SNP councillor said: “I represent the North East ward in the city and our ward has the lowest availability of alcohol compared to the Dundee average.
“So if availability is the number one issue, I don’t see the logic in picking on some areas in the city and ignoring the affluent ones.
“(It seems to suggest) it is OK to have pubs in the Ferry but not in the North East,” he added.
Shocking figures included in the report suggest in 2010 alcohol-related harm cost Dundee City £71.05 million £492 per Dundonian.
Other troubling statistics show that nearly half of 13-year-olds who have had an alcoholic drink say they have bought alcohol themselves, while most under-age drinkers got friends, relatives or strangers to buy drinks for them.
The report also suggested Dundee residents feel there are too many off-sales premises providing cheap alcohol, as well as having concerns about the length of the opening hours of on-sales premises.
Peter Allan, Dundee City Council’s community planning manager and a member of the team that presented the report to the board, said: “It is clear from the feedback that we have had as part of this process that people in Dundee feel there is an over-provision of alcohol sales in the city.
“Our recommendations to the board reflect that concern and we believe that along with its existing policies and enforcement of the current regulations the licensing board can bring about a healthier attitude to the sale and consumption of alcohol in the city.”