Manchester

Greater Manchester cheap alcohol ban draft revealed

Cans of lager on sale
Image caption A six pack of lager would cost at least £6

Details of the legislation that would ban the sale of cheap alcohol across Greater Manchester has been revealed.

Officials have drawn up a draft bylaw that would outlaw the sale of alcohol for less than 50p per unit and pub loyalty card schemes.

Any off-licence, pub or nightclub found breaking the rules could be fined up to £500.

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (Agma) meets on Friday to discuss the first draft of the bylaw.

The plans are designed to cut down on excessive drinking, improve health and cut hospital admissions across the region by up to 4,500.

Agma officials hope the Greater Manchester model will stimulate calls for a national minimum alcohol price.

Authorities in Merseyside, Warrington and Cheshire East - which all border parts of Greater Manchester - are working with Agma to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the scheme.

Council leaders will consider a progress report on the proposals at their meeting on Friday.

The report includes the first draft of the bylaw that would govern the ban.

It reads: "No individual, business, company or temporary licence holder based within the area, whether classified as off-licence or on-licence, shall offer the public sale of alcohol at any time without exception at a price less than fifty pence, or equivalent value of euros at the time of sale, per unit of alcohol."

A special task group will now investigate the legal, economic, cross-border and enforcement implications of a bylaw.

The report notes that a number of upcoming consultations and legislation changes that would have an affect on how a bylaw is introduced.

Under the Agma proposals, drinkers in the region would have to pay at least £6 for a six-pack of lager and £4.50 for a standard bottle of wine.

Opponents of the by-law proposals for Greater Manchester point out that people could simply visit a shop over the border in search of cheaper alcohol.

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