Stevenage club slammed for �1 drinks promo

The biggest club in Comet country has gone back on its commitment to a responsible alcohol price limit by hosting �1 drink nights.

Liquid and Envy in Stevenage has breached a deal made last October with Herts Police and the borough council not to charge less than �1.50 for alcoholic drinks.

The deal was part of a much praised and publicised effort with two other clubs on Stevenage Leisure Park, Chicago’s and Jumpin’ Jaks, to encourage clubbers to drink more sensibly.

But a banner outside the club now proclaims “�1 all drinks all night! Every Friday and Saturday” – nights when the club is open from 10pm to 3am.

The move has angered those who want a curb on promotions which encourage binge drinking.

A Stotfod resident who did not want to be named said he and his wife were shocked and surprised by the promotion when they visited the Leisure Park on Saturday.

“I hear in the news from time to time how the Government intend on tackling the ever-increasing drinks problem this country faces by addressing these promotions. This has to be one of the most tempting and dangerous ones that I have come across, and it clearly encourages binge drinking, much the same as an all you can eat buffet encourages most people to gorge on more food than they ordinarily would.

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“The fact that a person can buy and drink ten pints or shots for �10 instead on the usual three drinks they would get for the same money seems to me ridiculous.”

Janis Feeley, founder of the Living Room in Stevenage which treats addicts of all kinds, said the problem is one of licensing laws. She said one solution might be to stop night clubs serving drink from an earlier time.

“I’ve felt strongly about this since they changed the law. If they’ve had a skinful anyway – what about stopping all alcohol after midnight or 1am? It’s not stopping people enjoying themselves, they’ve already had a fair amount by then. Maybe it’s the last hours where the trouble is.”

No-one at the club appeared to be aware of the agreement however.

Club marketing manager Paul Kay said he had not been there at the time of the deal, adding that Jumpin’ Jaks and Chicago’s regularly promote a six shots for �6 deal.

A response from Liquid and Envy head office had not been offered at the time of going to press.

A borough council spokesman said both police and licensing officers are monitoring the situation.

“Premises within the Leisure Park voluntarily and collectively offered to not sell alcohol below an agreed price which, in the main, they adhere to,” he said. “Recently, one of the premises has started to offer drinks at a price below this informally set agreement.

“Both the police and licensing are monitoring the situation to see if there are any adverse reactions to this which impact on the agreement to ensure that people who frequent the park have a great night out and do so safely.

“Primarily, it is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that they promote the four licensing objectives, and that they maintain adherence to the conditions attached to their licence.

“The issue with regards to the pricing of alcohol is a matter currently being reviewed by central government who not only have to give regard to our primary legislation, but must also consider EU legislation governing price, in particular price fixing, which is why the above was only an informal agreement.”