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News - 13 October 2011

The Big Alcohol Debate

The Brighton & Hove Alcohol Programme Board is hosting a conversation with the people of Brighton & Hove to gauge their attitudes to alcohol in the city and find solutions to some of the problems it generates. It will be launched tomorrow with a ‘tweetathon’ to get a city-wide picture of the effects of alcohol over a 24 hour period.

The Programme Board is a partnership between the NHS, Sussex Police, City Council and the voluntary sector. It co-ordinates work across the city which aims to reduce the harm that alcohol does, without reducing the enjoyment of the majority who drink responsibly.

As part of this, there will be a number of ways that people can tell them what they think, including:

  • A survey, which will be available online and printed in libraries, and other distribution points across the city
  • An inflatable Big Brother-style Diary Room
  • Postcards
  • Focus groups
  • Social media, including Twitter and YouTube

The survey includes a number of questions, but two are key to the debate.

  • Imagine that you are in charge of Brighton & Hove, responsible for the City Council, the NHS, the Police and the rules that pubs, off licences and other businesses have to follow. What would you do about alcohol?
  • Imagine now that you have made those changes. What effect do you think this would have on people’s attitudes towards drinking alcohol and their drinking behaviour? What would Brighton & Hove be like?

A range of people and agencies are being invited to tweet about alcohol over that period of time, using the hash tag #bhdrink. These will include the NHS, council services, individual police officers on their beat, emergency services, businesses, residents, and service users.

The tweetathon is open to anyone with access to Twitter and is a novel way to lend your views and experiences to this important conversation.

For more information, please contact

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