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Young people lead the debate on responsible drinking

Young people have been invited to give their opinion on ways to tackle problem drinking

Teenagers consuming alcohol
Teenagers consuming alcohol

Young people have been invited to give their opinion on ways to tackle problem drinking.

This week, borough councillors and police officers were among those invited to hear representatives from the youth parliament debate ways to ensure that teenagers drink responsibly. The event was held on Monday at the White Ribbon Association - an alcohol awareness charity based in Tanworth Lane, Shirley.

While the four youngsters, Omo Agboaye, Jade Power, Jack Brazier and Lydia McGann, are actually from the Walsall area, their ideas will inform how authorities approach the issue in the borough.

Councillor Martin Hewings (Lib Dem, Elmdon) told the teenagers the authority had to grapple with a variety of alcohol-related issues, from tackling drink-fuelled violence to ensuring pubs and off-licences abided by the law.

“We don’t pretend that we have got all the answers and we’re always keen to see if there are ways we can do things better,” he said.

“So from that point of view we’d be very keen to hear your ideas.”

Councillor Karl Macnaughton (Green, Chelmsley Wood) was hopeful the event would provoke genuine debate.

“What’s good about this is that it’s young-people led. We’re not sat here telling them what to do, they’re giving us the ideas that we can act on.”

Victoria Taylor-Smith, from White Ribbon, said: “We need to look at better educating people on what is a safe amount to drink.

“A lot of people only talk about pints and glasses, rather than units. And when adults are confused, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of uncertainty among young people.”

 

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