Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Minimum Pricing by By-Law
Dundee licencing chief, Rod Wallace, is to ask city council officials to investigate the possibility of introducing minimum alcohol pricing in the city's pubs and clubs through a by-law.
A report claimed that three Scottish local authorities are looking at brining in their own price controls and Mr Wallace said the idea was "interesting" and merited further investigation. Stirling is one of them.
The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and 10 primary care trusts in the area have been working on introducing a by-law for a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. They are expected to produce a report at the end of the month and they've received the backing of David Cameron.
It's understood Scotland's licensing act gave local authorities the power to make by-laws until the option was removed in the 2005 version of the legislation. A Scottish Government amendment to the act could restore that power to the country's licencing boards and could prove much easier to implement than a national pricing policy.
Interesting days ahead with regard to minimum pricing of alcohol. Firstly, I'm not sure if an amendment to the Licensing Act could be made without the consent of Parliament - I'm sure someone will know that answer - and secondly, will it move drinkers to a council area which didn't have a minimum pricing policy? There's no need to travel many miles from Dundee before you leave that authority and either enter Angus or Perthshire. There is no mention of west coast or Highland council considering this move but it could be they will wait to see the outcome of Dundee and Stirling's efforts.