Letters: Scotland is starting to leave booze problem on the shelf

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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With the licencing board meeting on Monday to decide the application for the proposed Sainsbury’s in Portobello, I was surprised to see some recent figures relating to alcohol and health.

At a time when much is quoted about the overwhelming dangers of alcohol and need to curb the allocation of such licences, it would appear that something of the message on responsible drinking of alcohol is getting through to us Scots.

Whilst alcohol is more affordable than in 1987 and the greatest rise in sales being in off-sales, consumer spending on alcohol in the five years to 2009 was reduced, as was consumption shown in litre per capita for the over-16 population.

There has been a fall in the number of alcohol-related discharges from general acute hospitals between 2008/09 and 2009/10, and over the five-year period from 2004/05 to 2008/09 there was a 5 per cent decrease in the number of alcohol-related discharges from psychiatric hospitals.

The data also shows a fall in deaths where alcohol was the ‘underlying cause’.

The number of alcohol-related deaths in Edinburgh has declined in the five years up to recent data at 2009, with alcohol-related discharges from local hospitals also down.

Edinburgh also has the lowest level of drink-driving offences of any local authority area.

Perhaps, like the messages regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking in the past, the dangers of harmful drinking are now being taken on board.

However, we now need to turn our attention to how we ensure our young people heed those messages and how we protect them from less responsible traders.

Lynda Gauld, Queen’s Bay Crescent, Edinburgh

Put the brakes on cycling chancers

I HOPE the council has no intention of pandering to those chancers who have allegedly crashed their bikes on Princes Street.

Ultimately it is the taxpayer who will foot the bill for their carelessness.

Presumably their defence is that they were, somehow, unaware that Edinburgh is in the middle of a tram project and that there are tracks on Princes Street.

The council should tell them to get on their bikes.

Paul Mitchell, Dunlappie Road, Edzell, Angus

Upset Hibs fan is green with envy

HAD a wee laugh to myself at T Dalglish’s letter (News, November 19) regarding the young Hearts fans giving the “5-1” sign.

I’m just wondering if he is a Hibbie and if the shoe was on the other foot would he have found it acceptable?

Dave Arthur, Lady Nairne Crescent, Edinburgh

SNP backers need a reality check

Alex Orr (Letters, November 21) is a classic example of a man who can’t tell the difference between what he wants to happen, and what will actually happen. His leader, First Minister Alex Salmond, is another.

Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross