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Alcohol survey reveals startling findings

Monday April 18th 2016

Dalkeith - Jarnac Court

Parts of Midlothian are overprovided when it comes to the sale of alcohol, according to a detailed public consultation into the issue.

The Midlothian Licensing Forum sent out a survey to garner the views of the public, with a prize draw as an incentive for participating. The responses, combined with an updated profile of alcohol-related harm, have helped to create a picture of alcohol provision in the county.

Midlothian Council Community Safety Manager Rosie Kendall explains: “The results of the consultation and an updated profile of alcohol-related harm were discussed at a joint meeting of the Licensing Board and Forum last month and the Forum presented their recommendations on overprovision to the Licensing Board.

“At the Board, they agreed that the Dalkeith, Thornybank and Eskbank areas are overprovided and the following are areas of concern: Loanhead, Straiton, Gorebridge and Penicuik Southeast. An updated overprovision statement is being drafted to be agreed at next month’s Board meeting.”

The surprised winner of the prize draw was Ben Shore, a local minister from Loanhead who believes alcohol misuse is a problem. Mr Shore said: “I didn’t expect to win. I participated in the survey because of my concerns about alcohol-related antisocial behaviour in the local community.”

Ms Kendall added: “I want to thank the public for participating in the consultation. 337 people responded to the survey, which was significantly more than the last consultation in 2014 in which we received 28 responses. Many of those who responded took the time to add detailed comments regarding alcohol availability and alcohol-related harm, and these views have proved most useful.

“We are always looking for new people to join the Forum, so if anyone would like more information on the work being done, please visit the licensing forum web page: www.midlothian.gov.uk/licensing-forum.”

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