North Devon retailer Lesley Brown has invited her local MP to spend a weekend evening shift at her store after comments he made about underage drinking in the North Devon area.
Lib Dem MP Nick Harvey said in the local press that research showed one in four pubs and off licences are selling alcohol to the underaged.
Lesley, who owns Frankmarsh Stores in Barnstaple with her husband Bill, won this year's Zero Tolerance Award for her tough stance on underage drinking, through a strict No ID, No Sale policy.
Lesley is angry that the MP, who recently visited her store as part of National Independents' Week, did not stick up for local stores and their efforts to tackle underage purchasing.
As C-Store went to press, Lesley had received a letter from Nick Harvey explaining that the figures were national not local figures compiled by the Lib Dems. She said: "I still hope to put my side across. I went to a licensing forum for our area recently where it was said§ that underage drinking is a much worse problem in the on trade than stores in North Devon."
Lesley also intends to write to prime minister Gordon Brown and Tory leader David Cameron in an attempt to change the way they are trying to tackle underage drinking.
She added: "Labour and Tory policies seem to be knee-jerk reactions. We need them to look at the wider picture and issues like proxy purchasing by parents and other adults for children, which is a real problem."
l Lesley continued to help strengthen community relations when she joined more than 100 residents and business people in a clean-up of the local estate. She said: "The clean-up was part of a two-pronged initiative with our community fun day. It helped bring everyone together."

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