Councillor says parents should take more responsibility

A MANSFIELD district councillor has this week called for parents to take more responsibility in educating their children about drugs and alcohol.

Coun Mick Barton, portfolio holder for public protection, says that the drinking culture has changed across the UK and more needs to be done to educate children and adults.

“While I realise there are many authorities and responsible authorities to eradicate this kind of behaviour, I do think the policing of a minor or a teenager, starts and ends at home with the parent or guardian,” he said.

“However, from an authority’s point of view there are plenty of areas of assistance to the unfortunate families who are dealing with this issue. You cannot put the reason down to one thing, but I do believe drinking culture has changed within adults and more and more people are drinking in the home.

“I am convinced that drinking in the home is a contributing factor to this growing problem.”

Coun Barton believes that the people need to be made more aware of the long-term health problems that alcohol can cause as well as the detrimental impact it can have on families.

“Parents need to be more vigilant and proactive in seeing the signs of children drinking alcohol,” he added. I am convinced more could be done to educate not only children, but adults too in the pitfalls of alcohol abuse and the affects not only on physical symptoms, but also the family unit. Publicans and relevant authorities are now going the extra mile to reduce the amount of underage drinkers frequenting their establishments.

“But the next step is for parents, guardians, teachers, and youth leaders to be more alert and help young people together in education on the subject. I intend to put this on my forward plan within my portfolio to make sure we are doing everything within our powers to help everybody involved.”