A new scheme to tackle the “scourge” of drinkers fuelled by super-strength booze has been agreed.

The Brighton and Hove City Council agreement calling on shop-owners not to stock super-strength alcohol on their shelves was approved last night.

Council officials said they hoped the voluntary scheme would stop the wide availability of super strength drinks which were “killing many homeless and vulnerable people” and fuelling anti-social behaviour.

The move follows the successful trial of the scheme in three key areas of the city while more than 60 traders have already agreed to sign up.

It is hoped it will be up and running city-wide before Christmas.

Under the Sensible on Strength scheme shop-owners will be asked to voluntarily stop selling super-strength beer, lager and cider above 6% as well as refuse to serve drunk customers, install CCTV and have formal training of staff.

Shops will then be inspected and if they meet their promises, they will be presented with a certificate and a window sticker.

The report discussed at the council licensing committee yesterday stated that a single 500ml can of 9% super-strength lager contains four and a half units of alcohol – more than the Government’s daily recommended safe alcohol limit.

The report also said the move was not “anti-alcohol” and was not intended to impact on the city’s drinking culture or “vibrant city atmosphere”.

Previous studies had shown that by shifting vulnerable drinkers on to weaker alcohol, the level of deterioration in their health was dramatically slowed and the chances of them embracing abstinence and long-term sobriety greatly improved.

The scheme is estimated to cost around £500 in marketing.

Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde, a member of the council’s licensing committee, said: “Sensible on strength has been very successful when it has been trialled in St James’s Street, Trafalgar Street and around St Peter’s Church.

“Shopkeepers had reservations to it being set up but in reality found the main affect of sales was positive as they were getting other customers in, now that the street drinkers aren’t going in there.”