AN AGREEMENT which currently stops pubs and clubs from selling alcohol for less than £1.50 a drink is set to be scrapped.

Night-time economy co-ordinator for Bournemouth Jon Shipp said the industry’s Town Watch voluntary code is being reviewed, with a new emphasis likely to be more on responsible management rather than preventing cheap drinks.

JD Wetherspoon pub The Moon in the Square is presently offering bottles of San Miguel and pints of IPA real ale for 99p.

Presently, pubs and bars which have signed up to the code agree not to offer drinks below £1.50.

But the likely changes are set to be ratified at a Bournemouth Town Watch meeting on February 4.

Mr Shipp said: “The responsible operating policy will be coming back stronger than it was before.

“We have to look at things that can be controlled – management of premises and making sure that everybody is conforming to the requirements.

“We are not concerned solely with price.”

He added that the real concerns lay with cheap alcohol offered by supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda.

“That’s where the real concerns should be.

“I think government legislation is looking more towards legislating on the prices in off licences and supermarkets,” he said.

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, said that the drinks offered for 99p mostly appealed to the older generation who do not binge drink.

He added: “Wetherspoon is a very responsible pub.

“It is not a case of our breaking the agreement as we never signed up for it in the first place.

“Serving a pint of beer for 99p in a well-run pub is better than serving a pint for £1.50 in a badly-run pub.

“The way the economy is at the moment it’s not as if many people can choose to drink to excess.”

Yates Wine Lodge and Sixty Million Postcards, both members of Town Watch, said they had no plans to follow suit.

Stuart Evans, deputy manager at Yates Wine Lodge said: “We are not considering dropping our prices to that sort of level. Our cheapest pint is Fosters at £2.50.”

Andrew Roache, spokesman for Sixty Million Postcards, said: “It is not something we would do.

“We mainly offer premium lagers, which cost a little bit more.”

Luminar Leisure, which runs Lava & Ignite, and Yellow Hammer Bars, which runs Bliss, Toko and Crank, were not available at the time of going to press.