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Weekend round-up: More than 4000 pubs face closure

Published:  03 November, 2008

The FT
More than 4,000 pubs will go out of business in the next two years as beer sales fall and higher bills crush profits, according to insolvency specialists at PwC. Sixty-four pub businesses went bust in the third quarter - more than double the number in the same period last year and nearly triple the number in 2006. A combination of factors, including the smoking ban and the aggressive marketing of alcohol by supermarkets, had helped encourage people to drink in their homes rather than pubs and bars.

The Mirror
A company which makes home booze deliveries was yesterday slammed for advertising itself as an "emergency service" and using an ambulance logo. Alcohol in Emergency's leaflets proclaim: "A in E ... your quick link to drink." But health groups and MPs called it "ill-judged" marketing by the Southampton firm that delivers all night until 6am.

Almost 42,000 pupils have been sent home for booze or drug offences in the past four years. A total of 1,930 primary and secondary school youngsters were expelled. And a further 39,890 were suspended, figures from the Department for Children Schools and Families show. Separate data from the Home Office reveals 521,000 under-18s have been able to buy alcohol in bars. Almost half of those who drank regularly admitted doing crime.

The Times
A 'silent epidemic' of dementia could await today's binge drinkers, psychiatrists have warned. Heavy drinkers of all ages are at risk of developing debilitating conditions, including alzheimers, in later life, according to a new a study. Its authors are now calling for cigarette-style warning labels on wine bottles to stave off a mental health time bomb.

Beer sales in pubs may be in steep decline, but real ale, once seen as the preserve of the sandal-wearing brigade, is on the up. According to the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba), sales of locally produced beers bucked the trend with a rise of 8 per cent in the first half of the year. The figures are in stark contrast with the wider beer market, which suffered a 7.2 per cent fall in sales in the three months to the end of September.

BBC Online
Pub-goers in Aberdeen are facing a drugs test before entering bars as part of a crackdown by Grampian Police. Officers in the force will be the first in Scotland to use an Itemiser - a device which can detect traces of drugs from hand swabs in a matter of seconds. The test is voluntary, but customers will be refused entry if they do not take part. They could be searched and even arrested if traces are found.