Accountability essential in battle against booze

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For years we have not addressed the issue of under-age drinking with anything like the gravity it deserves.

So, while I empathise with George McDonald’s frustrations at being held liable for his employee’s actions, I must congratulate Councillor Gavin Logan and the licensing board on taking a proactive step in sending a clear message that selling alcohol to under-agers will not be tolerated (Southern, August 4).

Availability is a key element in reducing alcohol harm and the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 created the personal license holder to ensure that someone is taking responsibility and can be held accountable when failures occur, and this is quite clear in the training.

I have no doubt that Mr McDonald takes this responsibility seriously and that he is not unreasonably angry at finding himself held accountable. I hope, however, that when he stands back from his emotions he will be able to recognise that this accountability is essential if we are going to change the massive alcohol-related harm that Scotland is currently struggling with.

Michelle Ballantyne

(convener, Scottish Borders Local Licensing Forum)