Meeting on minimum pricing of alcohol

A PUBLIC meeting will be held next month to discuss the issue of minimum pricing of alcohol amidst a political row about so-called ‘booze cruising’.

Labour councillors say they see opportunities for Northumberland businesses to cash in when next year’s minimum price per unit comes into force across the border in Scotland.

However, Tory councillors have accused Labour of encouraging binge drinking.

The meeting on September 17 has been organised ahead of the launch of a government consultation on minimum pricing for the rest of the UK.

Organised by Northumberland County Council’s communities and place scrutiny committee, it will be held in Morpeth Town Hall at 6pm.

As well as members of the public, the council says it hopes that public health experts, doctors and Northumbria Police representatives will attend.

Coun Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland’s Labour group, said: “The Labour party welcomes the debate on how we’re going to help the Northumberland economy to grow and we see Scotland’s actions on alcohol pricing as an opportunity to help local businesses in a tough economic climate.”