Residents of Morecambe and Fleetwood participated in two Citizen Jury Alcohol Inquiries, taking place during June and December 2012, examining the effect of alcohol on the wellbeing of everyone in their communities. They were asked to make policy recommendations based on the following question:
What do you think would make it easier to have a more responsible relationship with alcohol?
Each Jury held regular meetings, where participants heard from and questioned a wide range of informed opinions given by invited expert commentators. The Inquiry used that testimony, alongside their own experience, to make recommendations towards “making it easier to have a more responsible relationship with alcohol”.
The issues participants felt they wanted to focus on, addressing the root causes that makes it difficult to have a responsible relationship with alcohol were:
- Loneliness and a lack of community spirit
- Peer pressure and changing drinking habits (such as competitive drinking, bragging on social media and a lack of social places without alcohol)
- A uniquely ‘British’ mentality towards alcohol and a family culture of drinking