Mixed reaction from landlords to council’s ‘short measures’ revelation

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WATCHDOGS found that a shocking 97 per cent of pints of beer sold locally were short measures.

Undercover trading standards officers bought 38 pints of lager and bitter from 19 local pubs recently - and only one of the pubs served a full pint.

In total, 26 of the pints they bought were up to five per cent short of a full pint and another 11 were up to 10 per cent short.

Legally, only five per cent leeway is permitted and, in the worst cases, written warnings were issued.

A number of pub landlords are understood to be furious about the council’s decision to publicise their findings.

However, one St Helens pub landlord, who asked not be named, told the Reporter he backed the council’s stance.

“The council are right to be checking this because people work hard for their cash and should get what they pay for when they choose to spend it. We always ensure our customers get a full pint,” the landlord added. Alan Healey, chair of the St Helens Branch of Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), added: “At Camra we are concerned about drinkers getting value for money.

We would ask that all pubs try to serve a full pint every time.

“But if a customer is concerned that they are not getting a full measure they should always ask for a top up. This is never a problem in most reputable pubs.”

Forty-seven St Helens pubs were also visited to ensure that branded spirits were the genuine product.

Trading standards officers checked well known branded spirits such as Smirnoff Vodka, Bacardi Rum and Gordon’s Gin, were not being replaced with cheaper products - which has been a regular issue in the past.

They tested 93 spirit drinks in total, all of which were found to be the genuine product. Coun Richard McCauley, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for environmental protection and safer communities, said: “Even though times are difficult for our public houses, their customers should get what they pay for.

“When beer is around £3 per pint, serving 10 per cent less than the full pint is short changing the customer by 30p.”