Sale of cheap booze must be outlawed

THE coalition government has announced that it is planning to reform licensing laws, starting with the sale of below-cost alcohol. This is of particular interest in Islington, where, as you reported in September, the council has admitted it “doesn’t have the balance right” on alcohol licensing.

It is worth remembering that Islington has more 24-hour off licences than almost anywhere else in London and that it is the sixth worst local authority in England for alcohol-related crime, death rates and hospital admissions.

As former Green Party councillor Katie Dawson has pointed out, the council has previously appeared unwilling or unable to act because of weak national licensing legislation, making Islington a dangerous environment for those with health and addiction problems.

I strongly urge concerned residents to call the government to account and ensure that it holds true to the promise of reform, to empower the council to make positive decisions for the people of Islington. – Carina Dunkerle, Islington Green Party, via e-mail.