My business may only be a market stall but could I assure Rachel Harris I do not obtain my produce free of charge. Had she had the good manners to speak to me before making wild accusations, I would have invited her to come with me to the wholesale market.

Had she seen the prices I have to pay for my produce, she would realise a profit margin of ten percent is over-optimistic.

If she is indeed from a family which runs a number of small shops, she would know only too well all the small independent grocers, butchers, bakers and now even newsagents are being squeezed out by the giant supermarkets.

She should also realise if the small businesses are to survive, we need all the help we can get from our local council. That means giving us prior warning if road works are going to affect the trade by driving customers away.

-A Burtenshaw, Hollingbury