- Minister for Community and Social Care, and local MP Alistair Burt will be launching the landmark partnership project
- Activity will include a fete in Market Square, performing artists and a “mocktail” making session
- CAPs schemes across the country have delivered up to 46% reductions in alcohol-related anti-social behaviour among young people
This week, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) will launch its 100th scheme, in Biggleswade. The launch marks the introduction of Central Bedfordshire’s first CAP, as well as celebrating the success of CAPs across the country in tackling alcohol-related harm in local communities.
There is growing concern around the levels of underage drinking and street drinking in Biggleswade among local residents, councilors and retailers, so the timely introduction of a CAP will aim to tackle alcohol-related harm in the area.
Across the country, CAPs have reduced the sale of alcohol to under 18s, driven down alcohol-related youth anti-social behaviour and increased local residents’ feelings of safety. By building coalitions between retailers, police, trading standards, local authorities, schools, youth services, residents’ associations, health networks and local charities, CAPs empower local communities to tackle alcohol-related harm among young people at its root.
Alistair Burt, MP for North-East Bedfordshire and Minister for Community and Social Care, welcomed the scheme. He said:
“Teenagers may not think about the effects of alcohol, but starting to drink heavily when you are young can have a knock-on effect in later life on both your physical and mental health.
“Acting now to address the situation will have benefits for young people’s health and have cost savings as they will not need to rely on health and support services later in life.”
The Biggleswade CAP brings together a wide range of local stakeholders including Central Bedfordshire Council, Biggleswade Town Council, the police, trading standards, local schools, local retailers, the local pubwatch scheme and youth services, including local youth club Groundworks.
These partners will work together as part of a comprehensive multi agency programme to tackle underage drinking, street drinking and the associated anti-social harms in Biggleswade.
To mark this milestone event, two public events will be taking place in the town between 1pm and 5pm on 30 March, following a formal launch event in the Town Hall. Local MP and Minister for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt will be launching the event.
The first will be in Market Square from 1pm to 3pm where there will be performance artists, stalls and other attractions.
Henry Maybury, a singer-songwriter whose debut song Lost Days was about his brother’s death from alcohol addiction will be performing live. The video has received more than a million views on YouTube and proceeds from all of its sales go to addiction charities.
Spoken word poet Laura Walsh will be performing a range of her thought-provoking work about subjects such as anti-social behaviour and gang culture.
As well as this, visitors will be able to take a virtual drive in Oscar, a drink drive simulator car, which allows you to see first-hand the impact of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The second event will run from 3pm to 5pm at Biggleswade Youth Club, where there will be plenty of fun events for teenagers including a chance to make “mocktails” (non-alcoholic cocktails) with an expert mixologist and to speak to staff from Groundworks - a service provided by Central Bedfordshire Council for young people.
Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Communities Services said:
“Underage drinking and street drinking are difficult and often taboo topics. However, we are keen to improve the lives of all affected by them which is why we are taking part in this pilot scheme in Biggleswade.
“If people realise there are places where they can go rather than just drinking on the street, and places where they can get help, then that can only be of benefit to everyone.
“Establishing stronger communities which actively look after one another will play a vital role in safeguarding young people, particularly those on the periphery of alcohol addiction.”
Derek Lewis, Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships said:
“Community Alcohol Partnership schemes (CAPs) play an increasingly important role in reducing underage drinking in local communities across the United Kingdom. To have reached our 100th CAP is a significant landmark. I am confident that Biggleswade’s comprehensive action plan and wide range of partner involvement have the makings of yet another successful CAP project.”
Kate Winchcombe, Sainsbury’s Biggleswade Store Manager said:
“Sainsbury’s Biggleswade is delighted to be involved in this Community Alcohol Partnership. We are committed to making a positive difference to our local community and we are really excited to be working with all CAP partners to help reduce incidences associated with alcohol related anti-social behaviour. In particular, we take issues relating to underage drinking very seriously and our Think 25 approach is well established. We are looking forward to sharing our expertise with other local retailers and working together to support the Biggleswade community.”
“Sainsbury’s is delighted to be a partner in the 100th CAP. We have supported CAPs from the very beginning and look forward to continuing to deliver great reductions in alcohol-related issues, both in Biggleswade and in other areas across the country.”
Scott Melville, General Store Manager at Asda Biggleswade, said:
“As a responsible retailer, at Asda we’re proud to be part of the Biggleswade Community Alcohol Partnership. Asda supports CAPs across the UK and we’ve seen the tremendous positive benefits they can bring to local people and communities. We look forward to working with other partners to deliver practical schemes to help to reduce alcohol-related harm in Biggleswade. Where our local community needs us, we want to be there.”
James Lowman, chief Executive of the Association of Convenience Stores and CAP Director said:
“CAPs makes a huge difference to local shops and the places they trade. By bringing the police and council together with retailers, CAPs make a lasting change, cutting youth drinking and reducing anti-social behaviour that can blight many towns and neighbourhoods. As the 100th CAP is launched, all of the industry and public sector CAP partners should take a moment to reflect on the success of the CAP project, and commit to launching the next hundred CAPs so that more places can benefit from the fantastic work they do.”
For more information about the Community Alcohol Partnerships visit www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk and for more information about the Biggleswade CAP scheme visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/cap
1. Kate Winstanley, CAP Director
[email protected] 07590 924710/ 0207 089 3882
2. Gillian Powell, CAP Programme Manager
[email protected] or 07825 225018/0207 089 3861
Notes to editors:
1. Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) is a Community Interest Company (CiC) whose aim is to prevent underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. A combination of enforcement, education, engagement of the community and businesses, and provision of appropriate diversionary activity for young people is the hallmark of the CAP model. The CAP ethos is based on a partnership approach that includes co-operation between a range of local authority departments, including Trading Standards, licensing, community engagement and youth services, Police, alcohol retailers, schools, local charities, housing associations, residents’ associations and health networks.
2. CAP is funded by sixteen companies who produce or sell alcohol. Current funders include: Aldi, Asda, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), Brown Forman Brands, Conviviality Retail, Co-op Group, Diageo, Heineken, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Molson Coors, One Stop, Sainsbury’s, SHS Drinks, Tesco and Waitrose.
3. CAP is governed by a Board of Directors led by an independent Chair, Derek Lewis, and experts drawn from the alcohol retail sector, the third sector and the public sector. Derek Lewis spent the first half of his career principally in Ford Motor Company and the leisure industries as CFO and then CEO of Granada Group and founder of UK Gold Television. Since then he has been involved extensively in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He was Director General of the Prison Service in England and Wales in the mid-1970s and has subsequently been chair or non-executive director of a variety of companies, principally in the health, education, training and employability sectors. These roles have been combined with six years as a trustee of the Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) and ten years on the Council of the University of Essex, latterly as Pro-Chancellor.