MacAskill, who last week said he wanted to see an end to drinks promotions in Scotland by early next year, held the meeting yesterday to rally support from licensing board members and senior police officers in the run up to the introduction of new licensing laws in 2009.
He said: “I’ve already made it clear that I want to take action to tackle Scotland’s drinking culture now, to support a longer-term strategy, by banning irresponsible promotions in off-sales and by looking at a ‘polluter pays’ approach to dealing with the costs of alcohol misuse.
“Licensing boards have a vital role to play, they are the ones at the sharp end of the act. It’s up to them to make it work and take action against premises that are fuelling underage and antisocial drinking.
“That’s why I was keen to have a meeting with licensing board convenors - to get their views on how we are shaping up for implementation and whether there is anything else that the Government can do to help the process.”