A TENDRING councillor has challenged the Government over its failure to introduce booze laws to boost the battle against street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Calls have been made to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol to target town centre drunks.

Clacton traders have reported major problems with people becoming abusive and intimidating after drinking cheap booze on the streets all day.

Previous attempts to clamp down on the problem has seen police and councillors appeal to shops to stop selling cut-price alcohol.

A minimum unit price for alcohol will now be trialled in Scotland.

But the Government has now been challenged over its failure to introduce the same step across the UK by concerned Tendring councillor and licensing boss Mark Platt.

He says the lack of action is making it tougher to fight the trend of excessive drinking and alcohol-fuelled issues on the streets around Tendring.

Mr Platt put Alcohol Minister Karen Bradley on the spot by raising his concerns at the recent Local Government Association Annual Licensing Seminar in London.

He said: “It looks like the Scottish Government is being left to champion a minimum unit price for alcohol and I do not feel that is the right attitude to take.

“Harmful alcohol consumption is something that blights all parts of society and we know that it is a factor in 47 per cent of all violent crime and costs the country around £11 billion in dealing with alcohol fuelled crime and disorder.

“We are also told that alcohol consumption is falling - but that’s not the perception of many of Tendring’s residents who fear alcohol fuelled crime or who have been the victims of it.”

Mr Platt admitted alcohol is a vital part of Tendring’s tourist industry – but said steps must be taken to make sure it is consumed responsibly to keep residents safe.

Ms Bradley welcomed Mr Platt’s contribution to the conference debate and said that the Home Office and Government had not ruled out a minimum unit price for alcohol.

She added the question was being kept under review but wished to see if progress could be made in Scotland first.

Mr Platt said afterwards: “It is good to know the door is being kept open on this question for England and Wales but I am a little disappointed that I didn’t get a firmer assurance that action would be taken sooner rather than later here.”