WIRRAL Council has pledged its commitment to tackle issues of alcohol-related crime and health harm by signing up to a government programme.

It is one 33 authorities that have become Local Alcohol Action Areas in the second phase of a partnership scheme, working with licensing authorities, health bodies, police and businesses to address problems caused by alcohol in their local area.

They will work with the Home Office and Public Health England on ways to share, and make better use of, data and information so that individuals with alcohol problems can be helped more effectively, and the impact of alcohol on local communities and services reduced.

The inititiative was launched in February 2014, covering 20 areas.

Cllr Janette Williamson, Wirral's cabinet member for public health, said: "Wirral has more than 9,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions each year – the equivalent of a hospital ward every day.

"The wider impact of alcohol on our families and communities is immense.

"There is excellent work going on in Wirral to reduce the harms caused by alcohol.

"Becoming a local alcohol action area will enable us to bring together all of the many strands under one banner and collaborate on finding new ways of tackling these problems using expert guidance."