Sir: The letter from the chief executive of the Rural Shops Alliance (‘Imbys are missing the point on new supermarkets’, 25 August) illustrates that he is interested in his members rather than the consumer. He talked of ‘the butcher and baker losing 25% of their business’. He never asks why. Is it that the supermarket offers lower prices? Better value? A wider range?

Is it the job of government to safeguard the vested interests of the few or to increase the consumer’s choice? Ever since the demise of RPM in the 1960s, it is clear government does not seek to protect the few at the expense of the many. Kenneth Parsons should advise his members to emphasise points of distinction rather than bleating about the evils of competition. In these straitened times, consumers relish the wider choice and lower prices of the supermarkets.

John Marshall, Conservative councillor, Barnet