A licensee has written to Gordon Brown urging him to adopt a minimum price on alcohol, writes Ewan Turney. Ben Walters of the White Horse in Epsom said he believed a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol would go a long way to stamping out anti-social behaviour and health problems. “I retail alcohol in a controlled environment to people that I know will drink responsibly and not abuse the product,” he said. “Not only do I sell it to them but I witness them consuming it and can take immediate steps if they act irresponsibly or pass it to those who are underage. The majority of pubs and bars in the country are the same. “Quite clearly when supermarkets are selling alcohol at prices cheaper than they are selling bottled water – then it is perfectly possible to become extremely and dangerously inebriated for less than £5. “When alcohol leads to so much violence, anti-social behaviour and health problems – it is a product which should be regulated and not left simply to the market to determine price.” Walters believes that raising prices would help stop the effect of “pre-loading” (drinking before going out in the town), would create an increased tax take for the Government and help drive people to the safe environment of the local pub and create a sense of community. “I am sure that the suggestion breaks all sorts of EU competition rules. It would take guts and determination to implement. "It is radical and therefore there is a natural tendency to shy away from them. “But I believe these proposals are also the right and common sense thing to do.” Scotland recently unveiled plans to introduce a minim price on alcohol while the Government here is waiting for publication of a report in to pricing, promotion and harm before taking any action.