GOVERNMENT plans to combat alcohol misuse have been given a lukewarm welcome.
Kirklees Alcohol Advisory Service said the police would not have the resources to implement the long-awaited strategy, launched today.
And the Brighouse-based National Federation of Licensed Victuallers said problems were mainly caused by councillors allowing too many pubs to open up very near each other.
A review of alcohol advertising, an audit of treatments and greater use of exclusion orders and fines for drunks were among measures outlined by the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
The measures follow repeated calls from charities working with alcoholics and their families.
Ministers want clearer information on alcoholic products, so people know exactly how many units they are drinking to make sure they do not exceed recommended levels. These are 21 units a week for men and 14 for women.
They also want the industry to promote better the sensible drinking message on their products.
The strategy unit said communications watchdog Ofcom would be reviewing the code of practice for TV ads to make sure producers were not glamorising alcohol use or targeting youngsters.
Pubs and bars could help by providing transport home for drinkers and marshals to help keep the peace in town and city centres at closing time.
The strategy calls for better training for NHS staff, so they can recognise problems earlier and refer people for quicker treatment.
It also calls for better enforcement of laws on under-age drinking and urges greater use of exclusion orders in pubs and increased use of fixed- penalty fines for drinkers causing a nuisance.
A leaked letter from Home Secretary David Blunkett to Prime Minister Tony Blair said drink- related disorder risked spiralling out of control.
He said the "situation at night in our towns and city centres raises serious concerns about the control of alcohol-related crime and disorder."
Frank Carroll, chief executive of Kirklees Alcohol Awareness Service, said more money should be put into treating alcohol abuse.
"The Government spends £91m on illegal drug issues and £1m on alcohol issues." he said.
He doubted whether police "stings" in pubs and shops selling alcohol to under-age teenagers would have any impact.
Tony Payne, chief executive of the Licensed Victuallers' Association, said: "Police, licensees and the Government have to work together, because in certain town centres violence has got out of hand.
"In Manchester, the number of pubs has risen 75% in eight years."