Residents go online to show how alcohol impacts communities

Views on whether there are too many supermarkets in Edinburgh selling cut-price price alcohol are being gathered in an anonymous online survey aimed at showing how ordinary communities are affected by booze.

Residents in Edinburgh are compiling an online survey on alcohol. PICTURE: John Devlin
Residents in Edinburgh are compiling an online survey on alcohol. PICTURE: John Devlin

Results of the Alcohol in the Community survey by the charity People Know How will be presented to councillors in the city early next month.

Clive O’Neill, community researcher, who helped pioneer the survey, said the project was aiming to reach a wide and diverse range of people.

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“Just about everyone is online these days. This is a new approach to try to figure out if people are concerned about things like the over provision of giant supermarkets and their alcohol offers, disturbances and violence in the street near pubs and clubs as well as issues such as littering.

“We also want people to think about the effect alcohol has on health and feel free to give their thoughts.”

Mr O’Neill added: “I’m personally interested in the project because I’ve lost a couple of friends and family members to alcohol abuse.

“My own view is that local shops don’t tend to be a problem but supermarkets tend to have shelves and shelves of alcohol and special offers and come across as ‘all-powerful’”

Those taking part in the survey which ends on 24 April, can also join focus groups to discuss the findings.

Glenn Liddall, founder of Edinburgh-based charity People Know How, who are coordinating the survey, said: “This is a real opportunity for Edinburgh residents to have their say on how alcohol impacts their lives and the city. We’re keen to know everyone’s views.

“This is a chance to take stock and let policy makers know, what people think, so that we can have an approach to drinking in the city that responds to peoples concerns. As in many situations - it’s all about balance”.

A spokesman from Edinburgh Alcohol and Drug Partnership, who are also involved in the project, said: “We are keen to support the work of People Know How to survey Edinburgh residents on their experiences of alcohol related harm.

“This survey will provide useful information on local views on alcohol and better inform how we help reduce the harm many people experience in relation to their own or others’ drinking.”