The Scottish Government is tackling supermarkets and off-licences over alcohol abuse by forcing them to contribute to the social cost of "bevvy culture". The "polluter pays" charge has been extended from pubs and clubs to include every shop that sells alcohol in Scotland. The new levy would raise funds for local licensing boards to spend on projects to deal with the consequences of binge drinking. Full details will be announced in the spring.
Dutch brewer Grolsch has warned that the British market is under "severe pressure". The warning came as Grolsch, subject of a takeover bid from SABMiller, announced its results for 2007. Volumes in the British market, which Grolsch runs in a joint venture with Coors, declined by 10% overall.
National Pubwatch chairman Steve Baker has paid tribute to founder member Bill Stone, who is retiring from the committee. Stone, who is leaving due to ill health, was a founding member of the National Association of Licensed House Mangers and helped set up several pubwatch schemes during his time as a relief manager. In 1997 he persuaded John Tomlin, then editor of MA, and Raoul de Vaux to set up a group to support local pubwatch schemes - and National Pubwatch was born.
Trade accountants Milestone has appointed former Punch director of customer services Francis Patton as a non-executive director. Patton is now a non-executive director of both the Cains Beer Company in Liverpool and Barnsley National Health Foundation Trust, chairman of Cask Marque and sits on the BII National Council.
Punch Taverns has placed a small package of 39 tenanted pubs on the market. The disposal is the first major sale by Punch since it sold 869 pubs to Admiral Taverns last year. The move will be viewed as the first sale of pubs that are not performing well in the smoke-ban era. A spokesman said: "As part of the ongoing strategic review of our estate we usually identify somewhere in the region of 100 leased pubs each year for disposal."