31/03/2014 - Permalink

Derek Lewis announced as new Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships

Related topics: Community / Health / Partner organisations

News from our partners Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) 

Former Drinkaware Trust Chair Derek Lewis has been appointed the new Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP). 

CAP brings together local retailers and licensees, trading standards, police, health services, education providers and other local stakeholders to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.  CAPs have now been established in over 60 locations across the UK. 

Derek Lewis brings a wealth of experience and knowledge having held executive and non-executive positions across the health, criminal justice, education, training and employability sectors, including the chairmanship of Drinkaware – a role which he held from 2008 to February 2014. 

His chairmanship of CAP was formally announced at an event at the House of Lords on Thursday 27 March 2014, hosted by outgoing Chair, Baroness Newlove of Warrington.  The event also celebrated the success of CAP’s first three years as a Community Interest Company (CiC), with the presentation of two CAP Excellence Awards to individuals who have been nominated for outstanding personal contributions to successful CAP schemes.  It was attended by industry stakeholders, MPs and representatives from CAP schemes across the country. 

Shropshire’s own Community Alcohol Partnership was set up to lead a two-year project to tackle underage drinking in Shropshire.  The county was successful in being awarded £90,000 (£45,000 per year) of a £1million ‘Alcohol fund’ from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).  The fund was announced by Baroness Newlove in her report Building Safe, Active Communities, to help local neighbourhoods address alcohol-related issues such as underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. 

Shropshire’s Community Alcohol Partnership (Shrop-CAP), a multi-agency partnership  set up to oversee the scheme which comprises of Shropshire Council’s trading standards team and positive activities team,  Shropshire’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team and West Mercia Police. 

The project has focuses on several public parks in the county which have seasonal summertime issues around underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. 

Shrop-CAP have already set up local Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) groups for each locality which include Bridgnorth Community Alcohol Partnership (B-CAP), Whitchurch Community Alcohol Partnership (W-CAP) and the already-established Oswestry Community Alcohol Partnership (Os-CAP) to address the specific issues in their area. 

Each CAP group will be working with retailers to confiscate alcohol from minors, tackle proxy buying (when a person aged 18 or over buys alcohol on behalf of an underage person), and work with young people on developing positive park-based activities. 

After three years of building momentum and a track record of positive outcomes, CAP is poised for rapid extension of its reach into many more communities where underage drinking is a problem.  The new CAP Chair will lead the board and CAP team in agreeing an ambitious new three year business plan designed to build on recent success.  Future aims for CAP will include a significant increase in the number of CAP schemes nationally, consistent with recent support for more proven, locally tailored, partnership approaches to tackling alcohol misuse – including in areas of high harm, such as the Government’s recently announced Local Alcohol Action Areas. 

Commenting on the appointment of Derek Lewis as her replacement, Baroness Newlove – who steps down after almost three years in the role – said:

“It has been a privilege to lead the Community Alcohol Partnerships programme.  In that time, CAP has become an established and proven solution to reducing underage drinking and associated harm to local communities.  Derek Lewis is well qualified to lead the growth of CAP at this exciting time and I wish him every success in this important role.” 

Derek Lewis responded:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as the new Chair of CAP and am very much looking to working with the CAP Board to oversee the next phase in the development of this impressive and important initiative.  Collaborative working between a wide range of local stakeholders with a clear focus on shared aims and objectives is at the heart of the success of CAP.  I want to help CAP to build on its impressive track record and harness its full potential to improve communities up and down the country that are blighted by underage drinking and its consequences.” 

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of CAP, said:

“I am delighted that Derek Lewis will join CAP at this crucial moment in its development. His experience and knowledge will be vitally useful in shaping CAP’s future plans and ambitions.  CAP has proven highly successful and has been ahead of its time by delivering local, tailored solutions delivered by empowered and supported community partners.  CAP is already working with Local Alcohol Action Areas and continues to work to support other areas of the UK where there is evidence of an underage drinking problem, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Further information

About CAP

Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) is a Community Interest Company with an independent Chair and an expert Advisory Board including retailers and members from the voluntary and charity sectors, the police and trading standards. 

CAP is an alcohol industry-funded initiative that brings together local retailers & licensees, trading standards, police, health services, education providers and other local stakeholders to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour: http://www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk/

About Derek Lewis 

Derek Lewis spent the first half of his career principally in Ford Motor Company and the leisure industries as CFO and then CEO of Granada Group and founder of UK Gold Television.  Since then he has been involved extensively in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.   He was Director General of the Prison Service in England and Wales in the mid-1970s and has subsequently been chair or non-executive director of a variety of companies, principally in the health, education, training and employability sectors.  These roles have been combined with six years as a trustee of the Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) and ten years on the Council of the University of Essex, latterly as Pro-Chancellor.