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25th January 2024

New Deputy Chair of Independent Complaints Panel appointed 

The Portman Group is delighted to announce the appointment of David Macdonald as the new Deputy Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), following six years as a serving member.

David, a former senior police officer in Scotland, has vast experience working to combat alcohol harm as well as extensive knowledge of the licensing industry which spans over three decades.

He takes over the role from Rachel Childs who was appointed Chair of the Panel in November 2023.

Currently, David is a senior officer within the Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) at Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, supporting the co-ordination of health services across the city.  His role encompasses close engagement with a wide cross-section of the community including individuals suffering alcohol and drug addiction issues, the recovery community as well as key stakeholders across the statutory and third sector delivering services.

His multi-faceted role includes the development of innovative programmes to prevent future drug deaths, overdoses and the harms associated with problematic drug and alcohol use, as well as responsibility for prevention and education resources for children and young people.

David also served over thirty years as an officer in Police Scotland, gaining significant experience in operational leadership at local and national levels and expertise in alcohol licensing.  He was a pivotal member of the national licensing unit at the inception of Police Scotland, working on policy development and tackling high profile licensing issues across the country.

In 2019, David completed a Masters degree in Contemporary Drug and Alcohol Studies from the University of West of Scotland.

On top of this, David also serves on the Advisory Council of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and has been chair of the Parent Council of one of Scotland’s top secondary schools for the past four years.

The ICP are currently recruiting for two new members.

Rachel Childs, Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel said: “I am thrilled to appoint David as Deputy Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel following six years as a serving member.

“His commitment to tackling alcohol harm is incredibly impressive and I have absolutely no doubt his decades of knowledge and experience will prove invaluable in the role of Deputy Chair.”

New Deputy Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel David Macdonald said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the role of Deputy Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), continuing to work with the ICP in support of the Codes of Practice and the alcohol industry’s complaints process.   I am passionate about maintaining the independence and impartiality of the ICP, and I’m looking forward to supporting our newly appointed Chair, Rachel Childs, and the ever-evolving regulatory process.

“It’s vital that the ICP continues to uphold the protection of consumers and their families from irresponsible and inappropriate alcohol marketing and I thoroughly look forward to continuing working to deliver this for our communities.”

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Notes to editors

  1. Images provided
  2. The Portman Group was formed in 1989. It is the alcohol industry regulator and social responsibility body. It has over 160 Code signatories from producers, retailers and membership bodies.
  3. The Portman Group is funded by 19 member and associate member companies: Asahi UK Ltd; Aston Manor Cider; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brown-Forman; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Campari; C&C; Diageo GB; Edrington UK; Heineken UK; Mark Anthony Brands International; Mast-Jäegermeister UK; Molson Coors Beverage Company; Pernod Ricard UK; Punch Pubs & Co; SHS Drinks; Thatchers’; and Treasury Wine Estates.
  4. The Code of Practice for the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks was first published in 1996. In 2021, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Code. The Code seeks to ensure that alcohol is promoted in a socially responsible way, only to those aged 18 and over, and in a way that does not appeal particularly to those who are vulnerable. The Code has helped create an industry that works effectively within the context of a self-regulatory model, while encouraging design, innovation and creativity. This has been done in an effective, responsive and inexpensive way.
  • Effectively – over 170 products have been amended or removed from the market. Many hundreds more have been helped to adhere to the Code before appearing on shelves through the support of the Advisory Service;
  • Responsively – there have been five updates to the Code over 25 years responding to changes in public attitudes and expanding its reach; all without recourse to Government or Parliamentary time;
  • Inexpensively – the leading members of the industry are currently funding the model for all to be protected at no cost to the public purse.

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