SHOPS who signed up to a campaign to curb the sale of super-strength alcohol in Birkenhead say it’s proving to be good for business.

Morris Stores and Alex & Shirley’s are just two of 22 shops who have independently decided to volunteer their support for the "Reducing The Strength Wirral" drive.

Both report additional benefits to removing cheap, strong alcohol from their shelves.

A spokesman for Morris Stores in Chester Street said: “Being signed up to the campaign is working great. 

"Our store has actually saved money through not stocking the high-strength alcohol.

"It has stopped the problem drinkers because they’re going elsewhere and we’ve seen a reduction in shoplifting.

"The campaign is definitely working in Hamilton Square. I think the bigger chains of stores should sign up.”

A representative from Alex & Shirley’s in Oxton Road, said: “Super-strength lager was a big seller for us.

"Since we’ve stopped selling it we’ve found that there is less shoplifting, more children and pensioners come in to the store and that it has created a lovely atmosphere.

"I’d encourage all shops to sign up to help the community. It’s not about just making money.”

Reducing The Strength Wirral was launched this time last year and is a partnership between Wirral Council’s Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Wirral Public Health.

The campaign initially concentrated on the "Seven Beats" area of Birkenhead  - from Hamilton Square in the north to Singleton Avenue in the south. In the east the area encompasses Lairdside and the Old Chester Road and to the west borders Birkenhead Park and Oxton village.

Now it is being rolled out to other parts of the borough.

Councillor Chris Jones, council cabinet member for public health, said: “We are determined to encourage local people to live healthier lives, particularly those who live in our most deprived areas, whose life expectancy is alarmingly lower than people who live in more affluent areas.

“Super-strength alcohol can have a serious effect on people’s health and can do immense damage to the body, both physically and mentally.

“Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to health problems such as liver disease, cancer or even a stroke.

"Other consequences include depression, impotence and excessive weight gain.”

To find out more information about Reducing The Strength Wirral or to enquire about how your business can support it, contact Gareth Hill, public health manager, on 0151 666 5187, or email