A ROW has broken out between a national charity trying to cut alcohol-related deaths and councillors in the Hampshire town where they are based.

The British Liver Trust is calling for a price floor of about 50p per unit of alcohol to reduce the health threat posed by cheap drink.

But members of Ringwood Town Council have rejected a request to support the move.

Cllr Jeremy Heron said: “It is more important that people are educated on drinking responsibly rather than putting in place a crude tool to try to stop excessive drinking.

“If the price is increased it would affect the pockets of the people who are already the hardest hit in the community in this current climate and who do not necessarily drink irresponsibly.”

British Liver Trust spokeswoman Sarah Wise said: “We are extremely disappointed and surprised that Ringwood councillors do not feel they can support minimum pricing, despite the evidence and wealth of support from the health community.

“Minimum pricing will target the very cheap alcohol available having the most impact on supermarkets and off-licences that sell three-litre bottles of cider for little over £2.50.

“We are probably one of the few national charities which is able to say that we are entirely based in Ringwood and would like to ask local councillors to re-think their decision and support our campaigns to reduce the impact of liver disease on society, including the harm relating to alcohol excess.”