Alcohol Concern, the influential health campaign group that’s broadly viewed as anti-industry, looks likely to scale down its activities after the Government withdrew its funding of the body. The group, which backs tough action such as increases in alcohol taxes and tighter controls of drinks marketing, has announced a restructuring of its senior management that will see the chief executive positioned retained on a part time basis for one year. Don Shenker, the current CEO, is subsequently set to leave his job, with former CEO Eric Appleby returning in the interim role. There will also be the recruitment of a full time director of fundraising and campaigning. The Department of Health said that the grant of £300,000 for 2010/2011 will not be provided for the coming year. Earlier this year, Alcohol Concern walked out of the Government-led Responsibility Deal on alcohol, complaining that there are “no firm targets or any sanctions if the drinks industry fails to fulfil its pledges”. However, the Department of Health stressed that it was the Labour Government that announced funding would cease. A spokeswoman said: “The Department used to provide core funding for Alcohol Concern, paying around a quarter of its annual costs, but the previous Government stopped this unusual arrangement in 2009. The charity was given a grant of £300,000 in 2010/11 to support the transition towards self-funding status and no funding is being provided during 2011/12.” Despite the group’s strong stance on alcohol, Shenker has in recent times softened his tone towards well-run community pubs, as the focused has moved more towards cheap deals in supermarkets. Writing in the Society of Independent Brewers’ membership magazine in September, Shenker expressed support for “responsible drinking” and deplored the current drinking culture that “values drinking at home over going to the pub.” He said pubs “should be encouraged and rewarded financially for improving community life,” and called for action from the industry and Government to support “a shift in our drinking culture from the current predominance of a ‘drink to get drunk’ approach to one that encourages maturity, responsibility and a respect for community values.” Alcohol Concern is an advocate of minimum pricing of alcohol, an issue that divides drinks retailers and producers, with some seeing it as the best way to stop cheap supermarket deals and others fearing the long term consequences of Government taking control of pricing.