Children Requiring Compulsory Measures of Supervision

Part of Orders of the Day — Children (Scotland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 1st May 1995.

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Photo of Mrs Helen Liddell Mrs Helen Liddell , Monklands East 9:45 pm, 1st May 1995

I am very interested in this subject, which has been raised repeatedly by my constituents. Although I broadly agree with what the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) has said, I feel some anxiety about the means of redress that he seeks through the children's hearing system and supervisory orders. I think that he should exert pressure on members of his own party, including Ministers, to implement byelaws to outlaw on-street drinking. My local authority, backed by the local police, has made strenuous representations to the Secretary of State for Scotland calling for the implementation of those byelaws, and I feel that that would be a more effective method.

We must also bear in mind the tremendous cost to the health and general well-being of under-age drinkers. These proposals merely scratch the surface; other aspects of the sale of drinks and the drinks industry must be taken into account if we are to encourage a more responsible attitude, and ensure that alcohol is not sold to under-age people.

I agree with the hon. Gentleman about advertising that is specifically aimed at young people. However, other products are available in my constituency and throughout north Lanarkshire, made by people who should know better. There are instances of children as young as nine consuming fortified drinks in my constituency.

I cannot support the hon. Gentleman's proposal for redress, but I think it important to draw to Ministers' attention the deep concern that is felt about this aspect of young people's lives.