Cranbrook’s kids ‘running riot’ on high-energy drinks

PUBLISHED: 15:44 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:25 12 January 2018

Devon County Councillor Ray  Bloxham. Picture: Contributed.

Devon County Councillor Ray Bloxham. Picture: Contributed.

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Cranbrook Town Council (CTC) is calling on the local Co-operative store to stop selling ‘high-energy’ caffeinated drinks to young people,

Cranbrook Town Councillor Matthew Osborn. Picture: Contributed.Cranbrook Town Councillor Matthew Osborn. Picture: Contributed.

It’s the second request that CTC has made to the Cranbrook Southern Co-op, and follows reports of youngsters ‘running riot’ at Youth Genesis sessions at the Younghayes Centre, fuelled on high-energy drinks.

The decision for the council to write again to Southern Co-op came during CTC’s meeting on December 18.

It followed an overview of the town’s youth provision, given by Jon Oliverio, a youth and community worker with Youth Genesis, an inter-church youth project.

Cllr Matt Osborn and Cllr Nick Partridge had recently visited a Youth Genesis club night in Cranbrook. Cllr Osborn expressed concern regarding the consumption of energy drinks by young people attending the session.

“I see that as a major problem, not just in your sessions but in Cranbrook in general,” said Cllr Osborn. “Kids are getting access to extremely high caffeine and sugar-based drinks, and are just running riot.”

“It’s a problem everywhere,” said Jon Olivero. “If something can be done in Cranbrook, that would be really good. Some young people have guzzled six cans before they come down to the session, and because of that, they just bounce off the walls. So if something could be done at the Co-op, that would be helpful.”

Councillors noted that the matter had been raised previously with the local Co-op and it was agreed that this should be followed up by CTC at a higher level within the Southern Co-op group.

Commenting later, Devon County Councillor, Healthy New Town executive board member and Patients Participation Group secretary Ray Bloxham said: “This is becoming an increasing worry in the town, with high levels of consumption affecting behaviour of children.

“I remain very concerned about what these products are doing to our young people and I firmly believe that action needs to be taken – preferably voluntarily – by the retailer.

“Perhaps it should be Cranbrook’s new year resolution to eradicate these so-called ‘energy drinks’ from our community. I would hope that the Co-op would embrace the ethos of Cranbrook being a healthy new town for 2018 and beyond.

“With all the good that is happening in the town, especially working with Exeter to win the Sport England bid, everyone, including our local business, needs to embrace what being a healthy town is and should be.”

As the Herald went to press, the town council had written to Southern Co-op about the matter and was awaiting a reply.

Waitrose has recently introduced minimum-age limit on sales of high caffeine energy drinks. From March 5, 2018, customers buying caffeinated energy drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre will be asked to prove they are over 16 years of age. Waitrose says it is currently the only UK supermarket to introduce such a sales policy.

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