Create centre to tackle drinking

BOSTON Labour councillors have read with interest about plans for a treatment centre to tackle street drinking in Lincoln, which, it is claimed, would save public services thousands of pounds every year.

Housing charity Framework has submitted plans for a facility, which it says will help the NHS, the police and the courts save cash.

A proposal has been handed in to the City of Lincoln Council for a new facility in Lincoln.

The centre would house 15 people at any one time and be staffed 24 hours a day, with the aim of helping street drinkers live sustainable and independent lives.

Residents will be placed on a treatment programme modelled on a method in Nottingham.

The building and its immediate surroundings will be covered by CCTV to ensure compliance with strict residency rules.

And, in addition to taking part in their treatment programmes, all service users will be expected to undertake a minimum of 16 hours of structured activity per week as a therapeutic tool and diversion away from alcohol.

The service is aimed at men and women aged 18 and over who want to make positive changes to their lifestyles, and the average stay will be between three and six months.

In the first nine months of 2010-11, 1,578 people were admitted to hospital in Lincoln as a result of alcohol abuse. Across Lincolnshire the figure was 11,538.

Each A&E admission costs hospitals around £600, and each overnight stay more than £700.

Boston Labour councillors strongly believe that if we are serious about reducing alcohol dependency in Boston, we need to seriously look to a similar centre in Boston as the one proposed for Lincoln.

We recognise that this is one of many possible solutions to reduce the amount of alcohol being drunk on our streets.

We are of the opinion that a drinks ban in Boston would be a starting point, and a treatment centre for alcoholics also being developed in Boston would make our town centre a more attractive and friendly place to live in and visit.

We will be demanding that this proposal should be looked at when we are looking at our housing strategy and, this week, when we look at the Lincolnshire homeless strategy.