I'm not a "drinker" , but organistaions(?) like this tend to raise my hackles a bit.
Just who "elected/empowered" them and why does the Licensing Board feel that they need to consult(?) them as opposed to consulting(?) the wider population as a whole ?
Are Licensing Rules to be decided on opinion pieces ? I'm not advocating a licensing "free for all", but I do feel that certain semi-official bodies should not be given a hearing to spout "opinions" that the rest of us do not have.
We already have a "minimum unit price" on alcohol to
punish discourage those who are addicted to the stuff and want to get off on cheap "rocket fuel" type drinks. Now it seems that certain bodies also want to punish(?) those who like a casual(?) drink (or two) by attempting to limit the places they can obtain them.
Alcoholic drinks have been around for thousands of years, and for much of that time, were the only safe(?) way to absorb liquid without risk of infection.
From the article;
"the forum said the number of off-licence premises per head of population "gives rise to concern and could be construed as overprovision".
An OPINION with no supporting evidence.
"NHS Shetland had already expressed its view that there are too many off-licence premises in Lerwick,"
Another OPINION, and just WHAT has it got to do with NHS Shetland ?
"The forum features a range of representatives, from the industry to the NHS and the police."
I wonder why there are no members of the general public, and why don't we get a "say" in it ?
"the current level of off sales premises within Lerwick appear to have a negative impact to the health of the local population,"
Yet more OPINION without any supporting evidence.
"Should the board agree with the submitted evidence they may conclude that there is overprovision and include this in the licensing policy statement."
And now they are attempting to present OPINIONS as evidence..
"health board's report showed that alcohol is "too easily available in Shetland""
Tell that to Tesco and the Co-op who both have aisles full of the stuff.
"Figures showed that there are 46 off trades per 10,000 people in Shetland, with the national average 11.6."
Oh whoopie. Now they are trying to compare a "rural" community with much larger population centres.
"The NHS report said that there is on average four deaths per year in Shetland directly attributable to alcohol, while in 2016/17 there were 140 alcohol related hospital discharges."
A sad figure indeed but, I wonder how that relates to the "national average" quoted above ?
"In addition to the off sales and supermarkets, Lerwick's pool of licensed premises also includes two public halls, five hotels, five pubs, 11 restaurants and four nightclubs."
So, which of the above do they wish to shut down ?
"there is a strong link between the availability of alcohol and alcohol related harm,"
Must have gone to university to come up with that one but, please define "alcohol related harm".
"Those objectives are: preventing crime and disorder, securing public safety, preventing public nuisance, protecting and improving public health and protecting children from harm."
So, licencees are now expected to be policemen and social workers.. Hmmm.
"national body Alcohol Focus Scotland expressed concern over the licensing hours for Lerwick Up Helly Aa."
Looks like they also want to take a pop at Up Helly Aa.. Will it never end ?