COMMONS

Government's Alcohol Strategy

26 March 2012

Terms of reference and call for evidence

Following the publication of the Government’s Alcohol Strategy, the Health Committee is to hold an inquiry examining the Government’s proposals so far as they relate to health issues, and in particular will look at:

  • Establishing who is responsible within Government for alcohol policy in general, policy coordination across Whitehall and the extent to which the Department of Health should take a leading role.
  • Coordination of policy across the UK with the devolved administrations, and the impact of pursuing different approaches to alcohol.
  • The role of the alcohol industry in addressing alcohol-related health problems, including the Responsibility Deal, Drinkaware and the role of the Portman Group.
  • The evidence base for, and economic impact of, introducing a fixed price per unit of alcohol of 40p, including the impacts on moderate and harmful drinkers; evidence/arguments for setting a different unit price; the legal complexities of introducing fixed pricing.
  • The effects of marketing on alcohol consumption, in particular in relation to children and young people.
  • The impact that current levels of alcohol consumption will have on the public’s health in the longer term.
  • Any consequential impact on future patterns of service use in the NHS and social care, including plans for greater investment in substance misuse or hepatology services.
  • Whether the proposed reforms of the NHS and public health systems will support an integrated approach to future planning of services for people who experience alcohol-related harm.
  • International evidence of the most effective interventions for reducing consumption of alcohol and evidence of any successful programmes to reduce harmful drinking, such as:
  • Public health interventions such as education and information;
  • Reducing the strength of alcoholic beverages;
  • Raising the legal drinking age; and
  • Plain packaging and marketing bans.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is midday on Tuesday 8 May 2012.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

Each submission should:

• state clearly who the submission is from, ie whether from yourself in a personal capacity (Submission from, eg, Miss Dee Dee Lee) or sent on behalf of an organisation (eg Submission from Insert Name Ltd);
• be no more than 2,500 words in length;
• as far as possible comprise a single document attachment to the email;
• begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
• have numbered paragraphs; and
• be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible (Reports are published in black and white).

The submission should be sent by e-mail to healthcommem@parliament.uk and have the ‘Name of the inquiry’ in the Subject line.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence would send their contact details in a block of text laid out vertically (not horizontally). See example below:

Miss Dee Dee Lee
London House
London Avenue
London
SO00 0OO
Tel: 0000 000 0000 / Mob: 00000 000000
deedeelee1005 @ xxxxxxx.uk

You should also be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Though there is a strong preference for emailed submissions, those without access to a computer should send a hard copy to:

Committee Assistant
Health Committee
Committee Office
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

Please also note that:

• Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this.

• Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed submission, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

• Evidence submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.

• Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

• Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

For up-to-date information on progress of the inquiry visit: http://www.parliament.uk/healthcom

Image: iStockphoto

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