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Big drop in Bedale's beer bottle litter

[Wednesday 31 December 2008]

The drop in the amount of litter is an excellent example of the way the campaign is progressing. We have worked with local traders, local police and local young people to tackle the problem of underage drinking and the damage which it can cause.

Clare Wood - County Councillor

A CAMPAIGN to stop underage drinking in one Yorkshire Dales market town is showinfg results with a welcome drop in the amount of litter.

Bedale's Alcohol Respect Campaign (ARC) is spearheaded by trading standards officers from North Yorkshire County Council has been in operation since September.

One obvious sign of the level of illicit drinking during the evenings was the state of the park and other open areas the next morning. Hambleton District Council staff, who are responsible for keeping the public areas clean and tidy, have been keeping a tally of the amount of drink related rubbish and mess resulting from drinking sprees. This ranges from the number of beer cans and bottles left strewn around to the incidence of vomit left on the floor of the public toilets. The figures show a 75% drop in the amount of alcohol related litter and a dramatic improvement in the state of the public conveniences.

The early stages of the Campaign saw Trading Standards officers working with Neighbourhood Police, to focus on local retailers refusing sales to minors. This was followed by steps to tackle proxy sales, in which adults were buying alcohol to pass on to youngsters and visits to local schools to teach young people about the possible consequences of underage drinking for both themselves and their friends.

County Councillor Clare Wood: "The drop in the amount of litter is an excellent example of the way the campaign is progressing. We have worked with local traders, local police and local young people to tackle the problem of underage drinking and the damage which it can cause."

Councillor John Weighell, who represents Bedale, said: "This is only the first of several benchmarks which are being used to measure the success of the campaign, but the results are extremely encouraging. The park is there for everyone to enjoy."

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