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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 18th June 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Progress Made on the Alcohol Strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan 2013/14

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To report on progress against the Alcohol Strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan.

Recommendation

1.         THAT the progress made against the Alcohol Strategy within the Vale of Glamorgan is noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         To apprise Members of work underway in the Vale of Glamorgan in relation to alcohol and how this fits into local, regional and national work streams.

Background

2.         Until recently alcohol misuse has been addressed mainly within the broader framework of substance misuse, and the harm alcohol causes has not been at the forefront of public policy other than in relation to acute episodes of anti-social drunkenness and violence.

3.         In Wales nearly half the population consumes above the recommended limits on at least one day a week, whilst over a quarter report binge drinking.

4.         Alcohol remains the highest source of referrals into substance misuse services across the Vale of Glamorgan with 54% of all substance misuse referrals in 2013/14.

5.         Numbers referred to alcohol treatment generally represent those at the higher end of need.

6.         The alcohol strategy is aimed at reducing the harms associated with alcohol, in relation to both health related harms and those that affect the community as a whole via anti social behaviour and crime.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         The current Cardiff and Vale Area Planning Board Alcohol Strategy (Appendix 1) includes the following main themes, as well as the mechanisms that will aid delivery:

·           Education and Prevention

·           Harm to the individual

·           Harm to the community

·           Criminal Justice.

8.         The strategy looks to work across partnerships to tackle and prevent alcohol related harm.

9.         The APB Alcohol Group consists of partners from South Wales Police, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Public Health Wales, Cardiff and Vale Local Authority staff linked to licensing, trading standards, substance misuse and family support.

10.      As a result of this partnership approach to addressing the needs outlined in the Action Plan communication is improved, and duplication avoided, giving partners the opportunity to share learning and experience via a quarterly forum.

11.      During the past 12 months a research project has been commissioned to inform the Area Planning Board of alcohol use amongst those aged over 60 in the Vale.

12.      Test Purchasing Operations have continued across Cardiff and the Vale during 2013/14. For the Vale of Glamorgan failure rates have been reduced. 132 test purchases were attempted, of which there were 5 failures. Operations are spread throughout the year at key times e.g. GCSE results day.  This will include a check to ensure retailers are aware of the Challenge 25 scheme.

13.      The Tier 2 service for young people affected by substance misuse, Up2U have linked in with the Anti Social Behaviour team in the Vale offering opportunity for early intervention and sign posting.

14.      Information on Substance Misuse services is sent out with Anti Social Behaviour letters, encouraging people to refer themselves into treatment where alcohol or other drugs have been linked to the occurrence.

15.      The Up2U team have worked closely with the Vale Youth Service to deliver street outreach linked to substance misuse and alcohol, again offering a preventative approach to escalated nuisance linked to alcohol.

16.      The staff at Cardiff Alcohol Treatment Centre have started collecting ‘last drink’ data to inform licensing decisions and to take a proactive approach to work with the licensing trade at promoting the responsible retail of alcohol. Last drink data highlights where an individual was last served an alcoholic drink and uses this to work with the trade and identify good and bad practice.

17.      Public Health Wales currently run alcohol brief intervention training sessions for free. In 13/14 over 700 individuals were trained from 65 agencies across Cardiff and the Vale.

18.      Two new generic substance misuse services have been developed and are due to be fully operational by July 2014.  The Open Access and Engagement service will support substance users, including alcohol users, at a low level who are reticent to change, preparing them for more structured treatment.  The Throughcare, Aftercare and Recovery service will support service users who have left structured treatment, but require ongoing low level support to reintegrate into the community.

19.      South Wales Police have run successful operations in relation to the night time economy. These operations have been aimed at increasing police presence in the night time economy and improving public reassurance. Operations took place during the rugby six nations, preliminary findings suggest violent crime reduced on last year.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

20.      Delivery of the targets within the strategy will be dependent on the ongoing support and engagement of local partners.

21.      Substance Misuse Action Fund grant funding is available to support local initiatives.

22.      The SMAF fund for Cardiff and the Vale stands at just over £3.646m of which the Vale of Glamorgan has an attributable percentage of 21%.  £3.3m of this resource is spent on frontline services that operate in the Vale as well as Cardiff, and which include alcohol within their remit

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

23.      There are no implications as a result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

24.      The initiative is in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Crime and Disorder Implications

25.      The Strategy covers both harm to individuals and harm to communities and successful delivery should result in a reduction in anti social behaviour and alcohol related crime.

26.      The strategy involves all partners, including Probation and the Drug Intervention Programme in achieving its aims.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

27.      This would meet the Vale of Glamorgan's Equal Opportunity Policy by eliminating discrimination and promoting equality for all Vale residents.

Corporate/Service Objectives

28.      The information from the survey will be used in order to work within the Corporate Community Safety and Wellbeing objectives.  'To make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full’.

29.      To work towards the targets of the Welsh Governments Ten Year Strategy on Substance Misuse, 'Working Together To Reduce Harm 2008-2018’.

Policy Framework and Budget

30.      This report is for information only.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

31.      Councillor Bronwen Brooks

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

32.      Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

·           Safer Vale Alcohol Strategy.

·           Cardiff and Vale APB Substance Misuse Commissioning Strategy: 2013-18.

·           Safe, Sensible & Social: The next steps in the national alcohol strategy (2007) Department of Health.

·           Sign for Improvement - commissioning interventions to reduce alcohol related harm (2006) Department of Health.

·           Models of Care for Alcohol Users (2006) Department of Health.

·           National Core Standards for Substance Misuse Services in Wales.

·           Welsh Government Substance Misuse Treatment Framework.

·           Working Together to Reduce Harm - The Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008-2018.

·           Framework Guidance for Community Safety Partnerships to Commission Substance Misuse Services.

Contact Officer

Deborah Gibbs - Safer Vale Manager / Community Safety

Conrad Eydmann – Head of Substance Misuse Strategy and Development  / Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

 

Officers Consulted

Safer Vale Partnership

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services