Retailers in the South East of England are now being urged to sign the NHS led Big Drink Debate manifesto, and help create new policies to curb alcohol-related health and social issues.

The manifesto, which is based on findings from research and public debates which took place in the South East in autumn 2009, suggests a number of solutions to tackle the problems linked to excessive drinking. It follows other Big Drink Debates in the North West and West Midlands last year.

Minimum pricing and promotional restrictions are two of the many proposals suggested. Other ideas include more support for police in tackling drink related anti-social behaviour, and educating adult drinkers of the dangers of consuming above recommended levels. It also includes a proposal to “look beyond young adults” when creating policy to crack down on binge drinking. While young adults are often identified with problem drinking, in the South East it is older adults who consume more alcohol more regularly.

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson, who is to stand down in May, said that capturing regional views on alcohol from such a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations, would help to create a much more co-ordinated approach to tackling alcohol abuse.

Industry representatives and retailers in the South East can now select which points they think should be prioritised at

Members of the public are also being encouraged to join the debate. It will be open for people across the region to sign up to until January 31.