Proposal to ban council staff from a lunchtime pint rejected

DRINK Council staff are still allowed to drink alcohol during their lunch breaks
DRINK Council staff are still allowed to drink alcohol during their lunch breaks

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STAFF at Portsmouth City Council will not be banned from drinking alcohol at lunch times, despite calls from the city’s advisory committee on health.

The proposal was rejected as ‘unnecessary and unenforceable’ by council leaders, after it was proposed in a report which found 40,000 people in the city drink too much.

But they agreed to consider warning youngsters at Portsmouth’s primary schools about alcohol misuse.

And the council will monitor the success of proposals in Manchester to set minimum prices for alcohol by law.

The council’s health overview and scrutiny committee produced the report, which found 7,000 people in the city are dependent on alcohol.

And hospital admissions increased 59 per cent since 2002.

The council already employs a substance misuse officer, but agreed to leave the matter of drinking at lunchtime as a disciplinary issue to be decided on by managers.

Cllr Mike Hancock said: ‘The sort of person who has a drink at lunchtime isn’t the sort of person who’s taken to hospital on Friday and Saturdays. And how would we police it? Are we to use sniffer dogs to check people at desks in their offices?’