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Drinking alcohol in public places discussed in Borders

Members of the public are being asked to give their opinion on the future of drinking alcohol in public places in the Scottish Borders.

Scottish Borders Council is urging everyone to put forward their views on the Byelaws, which could see fines of up to £500 for drinking in public places.

The Byelaws would not apply for the Border Common Ridings, summer festivals and Hogmanay or New Years Eve.

The Scottish Borders is the only local authority in Scotland not to have such Byelaws in place.

"We are very keen to hear what people think about the proposed Byelaws.

"Of course everyone will have different opinions, but a key thing to remember is that we are the only local authority in Scotland not to have Byelaws in place.

"Our focus is to make the Borders a safer place so the aim of the Byelaws is to reduce anti-social behaviour which may occur as a result of drinking alcohol outwith the exempt environments."

– Councillor David Moffat, Executive Member for Community Safety, Scottish Borders Council

The enagaement process opens at 5pm this evening (17th June) and closes at midnight on 29th November 2013.

You can submit your views on the proposed byelaws here.

Alcohol price challenge thrown out

The minimum alcohol pricing challenge has been thrown out Credit: PA

A legal challenge to the Scottish Government's plans to introduce minimum pricing per unit of alcohol has failed.

A petition led by the Scotch Whisky Assosiation was refused at Scotland's highest civil court.

It was argued that the law breaches the UK's European Union treaty obligations because it would restrain trade.

The ruling clears the way for the introduction of the minimum pricing policy.

Under the plans, the cheapest bottle of wine would be £4.69 and a four-pack of lager would cost at least £3.52.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

"We welcome today's favourable opinion from the Court of Session on minimum unit pricing of alcohol.

"We have always believed minimum unit pricing is the right thing to do to tackle Scotland's problematic relationship with alcohol.

"Minimum unit pricing will target cheap alcohol relative to strength that is favoured by hazardous and harmful drinkers, and which contributes to much of the alcohol-related harm we see in Scotland.

"We now look forward to being able to implement minimum unit pricing and making that transformational change in Scotland's relationship with alcohol."

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People can discuss alcohol issues

People across Cumbria will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns they have about alcohol, during a live webchat.

The chat is part of alcohol awareness week and offers people the chance to discuss issues such as the effect alcohol has, and drink driving laws.

The chat will take place between 10am and 12pm, with representatives from NHS Cumbria and Cumbria Police responding to questions.

People can join in by visiting the Cumbria Police website.

The complete webchat will be posted online afterwards.

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Minimum pricing vote - Holyrood

MSPs will vote today on the Scottish Government's plans to bring in a mininum price for alcohol.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon wants to set a price of 50p per unit.

Ms Sturgeon said

"Too many Scots are drinking themselves to death. The problem affects people of all walks of life".

– Nicola Sturgeon MSP

It is estimated that the country's alcohol problems cost £3.56billon each year MSPs voted to back the general principles of the bill at its first stage in March.

But the Labour party abstained saying minimum pricing will punish those who are less well off.

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