English people wondering about where the extra money received under the Barnett Formula from English taxpayers actually goes, received their answer today: we drink it! The Scots drink 20% more alcohol than either the English or the Welsh; we drink an average of 23 units of alcohol per week. According to Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish health minister, this excessive consumption costs the Scottish economy £3.65 billion, or about £900 per adult which is not far off the £1100 that Scots receive from the Barnett Formula each year.
The fiery Sturgeon counters criticism: “We have already taken bold action against this most pressing of problems. Our alcohol framework outlines a package of over 40 measures to reduce alcohol-related harm.” However, the gap between England and Scotland seems to be growing which means the policy is failing. Industry spokesman denied any link between sales of alcohol and excessive alcohol consumption. (Work that out if you can!)
Scots buy approximately 11.8 litres of pure alcohol per year, compared with 9.6 for England. It is bought mainly through the off-trade (aka offies) and is often cheap vodka. As the price of alcohol is broadly comparative across the UK, the factors that drive the difference cannot be economic.
We believe that the real cause is the god-awful weather, the constant harassment from midges and having to listen to Alex Salmond on the TV too frequently.
The 39th most populous settlement in UK, Dundee has once again been positioned as the place with the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Scotland. A part of the NHS Tayside area, the city has a recorded rate of girls among 13 to 15 getting pregnant, registering the place with the worst teenage pregnancy rate in the country. Recent statistics for the years 2007 to 2009 records Dundee to be the 4th largest city with this undesired title.
Updated by the Information Services Division of NHS Scotland, the figures clearly estimate that one of the causes for the pregnancy rates to be higher is poverty. Girls under the age of 15 to 17 have a recorded rate of 73.7 pregnancies per 1000 and girls among 17 to 19 is seen to have a record rate of 73.8 pregnancies per 1000. As the population rate of Dundee is small, the higher number of expectant mothers has added an extra flare to the title.
The larger cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh also records huge pregnancy rates. But the records show that Dundee has been named with the infamous title since 1994. Whereas the lowest pregnancy rate for the same period was recorded in the East Renfrewshire Council area that includes the suburbs of Glasgow, Clarkston and Newton Mearns.
A cutting-edge obesity research exhibition-‘Fat Body Slim, led by a team of academics from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, will be heading to Elgin next week as part of a six-month Scottish tour.
It is a fun and interactive exhibition, which will be held in Moray Leisure Centre in Elgin on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October. The team investigates the science behind obesity, body shape and health. Entitled ‘Fat Body Slim: Shape Matters!’ the exhibit has been designed to showcase the University’s obesity research through a series of interactive displays.
The exhibit is being toured until March 2011 following a £25,000 grant from the Scottish Government Science Engagement Fund to deliver a series of workshops to more than 10,000 teenagers in the North and North-east of Scotland.
During this time the public will have the opportunity to learn;
1. How weight distribution impacts their life
2. The role individual lifestyles play in maintaining health and fitness.
The public will also getting to grips with staining fat cells to see what they look like under a microscope, and finding out whether they can differentiate between the myths and the facts about obesity.
A scheme giving landlords in Edinburgh, the chance to provide accommodation to the homeless through council is established.
Link Group Ltd will be responsible in delivering the Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme. It is aimed to provide a major source of rented accommodation for homeless people in the capital.
“The scheme had supported more than 4,000 people through a network of 1,600 properties since it was launched five years ago”, said Edinburgh City Council.
Schemes like PSL, where the council work with private landlords to free up housing in the private rented market to those people who need it most, is paying dividends.
A new report says that, more than 700 pubs in Scotland have closed since the smoking ban was introduced. Scotland was the first country in UK to bring in smoking ban in public places. It was in March 2006 that Scotland brought in legislation outlawing smoking in enclosed public places.
Research conducted by Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign showed that 11.1% of pubs north of the border had shut over the past four years. Price slashes in drink prices have got to do something with this, the report says.
Oliver Griffiths, director of CR Consulting, which carried out the research, said: “The decline of the British pub had started before the smoking ban but at a low level. The ban had a sudden and marked impact, accelerating the rate of decline.”
The report showed that almost three years after the smoking ban was introduced 7.1% of pubs in Scotland had closed, rising to just over 11% after four years.
In England and Wales – where smoking in public places was banned later -the report said more than 7% of pubs had closed after almost three years.
Paul Waterson, president of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association says that these factors have strong impact on the closure of pubs and it is time for the government to do something to help the industry and relax the ban.
Seperate smoking rooms to be included in pubs was suggested as one option. But in the positive side, the doctors says that it helped people to change their attitude towards smoking and have clearly underlined the dangers associated with smoking. As a result many have chosen to quit smoking.