Chester Pubwatch introduces minimum alcohol pricing

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Irresponsible drinks promotions, Alcoholic beverage

The policy applies to the price of drinks, not the price of units of alcohol
The policy applies to the price of drinks, not the price of units of alcohol
Chester Pubwatch has introduced a minimum alcohol price condition for all its members, ruling that any licensed premises that charges less than £1.50 for an alcoholic drink will lose its accreditation.

The condition, which is designed to curtail irresponsible drinks promotions, was agreed after 46 Chester Pubwatch members recently voted on the measure, 36 of whom were in favour. There were seven abstentions and three voted against.

'Memorandum of understanding'

Chester Pubwatch chairman Frank Marnell said the condition is “not set in stone” but is a “memorandum of understanding” that applies to the price of drinks, not the price of units of alcohol.

“It applies to a bottle of beer, which might be two units, or a large glass of wine,” Marnell said.

'Rogue licensees'

“There are a couple of rogue licensees in the area and they were giving free shots away in order to bring in the public. We wanted to stop it.

“The big boys — ie the nightclubs — can put their prices up to whatever they want and give away drinks whenever they want, but that doesn’t help the smaller pubs or lessees. That’s why we’re trying to combat it, to save the smaller pubs.”

Blackpool has had a voluntary minimum-pricing scheme for a number of years, although trade representatives have previously warned the practice could be illegal if it is implemented without the back-up of parliamentary legislation.

However, Marnell said Chester had to bring in its own regulations after the Government rejected introducing the policy in July.

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