Retailers in Manchester are hoping to make the new licensing legislation work for them with the creation of a new licensing forum to deal with issues such as underage selling and test purchasing.
The A-5 licensing forum covers five areas of the city - Ancoats, Miles Platting, Clayton, Newton Heath and Collyhurst South - and is aimed at getting retailers to work alongside local authorities to develop best practice under the new licensing legislation.
Group organiser Carmine Grimshaw, owner of the Fresh 'n' Frozen convenience store in Newton Heath, said the forum would give retailers an opportunity to work through the issues with the relevant authorities as well as educate staff to help tackle some of the problems caused by underage drinking.
Carmine said that 12 of the 54 licensees in the area had signed up and he expected more to follow over the next few weeks. He claimed that the group would also help to root out irresponsible retailers.
He said: "Mistakes happen but we will not defend retailers who constantly break the law. It will become pretty clear who they are as they won't want to take part."
The forum is also to be used as a tool for the promotion of safe drinking and will support campaigns such as No ID, No Sale, Think 21 and Think Safe Drink Safe.