Friday, 23 May 2008

New figures expose harmful effect of binge and under-age drinking

Alcohol misuse fuelling yob behaviour and hospital admissions soar

Giles McNeill, Nettleham Parish Councillor, this week expressed his concern over new official figures that have revealed a soaring number of hospital admissions due to alcohol misuse, and the effect of alcohol in pushing up crime and disorder.

According to research by the NHS Information Centre:
· The number of admissions to NHS hospital due to alcohol has soared by 52 per cent over the last decade.
· 1 in 10 of all these incidents now involves those under 18 – the legal drinking age.

· Across the East Midlands, there were16,016 hospital admissions due to alcohol last year.

· 1 in 3 of all 15 year olds think it is acceptable to get drunk at least once a week.

· Half of all violent attacks are committed by those under the influence of alcohol.
Growing alcohol misuse has coincided with new 24 hour licensing laws imposed by the Government, and a failure to enforce effectively the laws, which exist against under-age drinking. The Government has also raided budgets for the promotion of healthy living to meet NHS deficits.

Giles McNeill said:
“There’s nothing wrong with adults having a good night out, but under-age and binge drinking fuels crime and anti-social behaviour. Labour Ministers talk endlessly about cracking down on alcohol-related violence, but these new figures expose Gordon Brown’s complacency and the knock-on effect on the NHS.

“The Labour Government’s failure to enforce the law sends totally the wrong message about under-age drinking. We need greater social responsibility, more powers for local communities over licensing, and an end to some parents turning a blind eye to their children’s drinking.”

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Labour Government letting down seaside towns – Giles McNeill

Concern raised over effect of unfair new gambling laws on arcades and bingo halls

Giles McNeill criticised Labour Ministers and Labour MPs today for failing to protect the interests of seaside towns. They are at risk as a result of newly-introduced gambling laws. Conservatives are warning that a green light has been given to hard-core gambling, while safer forms of entertainment are being harshly treated.

Seaside arcades, bingo halls and high street arcades are seeing a collapse in their income. New laws have reduced gaming machine stakes and the number of machines that these arcades can have. At the same time, the Government has failed to tackle the rise in problem gambling from betting offices as a result of controversial new ‘fixed odds betting terminals’ and of online gambling.

· The Government’s latest Gambling Prevalence Survey showed that gaming arcades have just a 3 per cent problem gambling rate, compared with an 11 per cent rate in licensed betting offices. But many people are now transferring to gaming machines in betting shops, putting them at a greater risk of gambling addiction.
· Gaming arcade businesses are often family-owned – passed down from generation to generation and are the lifeblood of many seaside economies which rely heavily on tourism.
· The British Amusement Catering Trade Association has described the impact of the Gambling Act on the industry as “devastating”, warning that “at this rate half the industry will be gone in six months.” It has estimated that there has already been a 21 per cent fall in revenues year on year, in an industry that directly employs 26,000 people. In the bingo industry, over 80 clubs have already closed in the last three years and 108 are under threat.
· A move in Parliament by Conservatives to change the law to tackle this unfairness was rejected by Labour Ministers and Labour MPs – even though a number of Labour MPs supported a cross-party Commons motion to change the laws.

Giles McNeill said:
“Labour is letting down our local community and its economy. Many of these arcades are part of our historic seaside heritage. This is no way in which to treat the local firms that are so vital to seaside communities. A green light has been given to hard-core gambling, while safer forms of entertainment are being unfairly treated.”

Friday, 2 May 2008

Local Election Result: Nettleham Ward

The result of the poll for the district council seat in the Nettleham ward was:

Malcolm Geffrey Leaning, Liberal Democrat, 766 (Elected)
Giles Patrick McNeill, Conservative, 757
Nigel Geoffrey Kingston, Independent, 279
Steven Pearson, UKIP, 46

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Campaign Diary - Thursday 1st May 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

Please don't forget to support me at the ballot box today. If your thinking of leaving it to others it is quite possible they may be leaving it to you. Make sure you get the Councillor you want. Vote Giles McNeill.

The polls are open until 10pm. You don't need your polling card to vote.

If you need a lift to support me please call me on 07896 730737.

In Grange-de-Lings, Greetwell, Nettleham & Riseholme: It's time for change.

Update 12:00

Update 21:00
Just sixty minutes remain before the polls close on the 2008 local elections and I just want to thank every one who has voted today, everyone who is about to vote, all the staff at West Lindsey District Council, Graham Spicksley and Celia Scott, The polling station staff, my opponents and all my campaign team. You have all worked hard to make this a first rate campaign.