£1m fund for safer communities launched

A £1 million fund to help local communities tackle under-age and binge-drinking has been launched by the government’s champion for active safer communities, Baroness Newlove.

The fund aims to give 10 communities the resources to get to grips with problem drinking.

Communities around the country can bid for a share of the cash by laying out the innovative, local authority-led schemes they want to use it for.

Baroness Newlove, who chairs of the Community Alcohol Partnerships scheme, said: “We need a new drinking culture in this country. I want to see responsible drinking, so we can rid our streets of drunken violence and intimidation. We need direct, effective action on the ground to make a difference, and make ‘sociable drinking’ the acceptable norm.  

“There are many people in communities across the country – backed by local authorities, the police, health workers and the retail trade – who have found innovative ways to combat this problem and this fund will help the police, health workers, businesses and, crucially, local people to come together and tackle problem drinking head-on, and inspire other communities to act.”

The fund was launched at the same time as Baroness Newlove published her latest report: Building Safe, Active Communities – Strong Foundations by Local People.

The report is a collection of examples local communities which are changing their neighbourhoods for the better, and notably singles out the Newquay Safe Partnership for praise.

It also looks at progress on the 12 challenges to action the baroness made to government last year.

She said: “Last year I challenged the government and public agencies to help, not hinder grassroots activists and I am pleased to note the progress made on a number of fronts, within Whitehall and beyond. However, I am convinced more can be done.”

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