from Alan Toft, chairman, FWD’s My Shop Is Your Shop campaign

Sir; Your lead story last week, that the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group will express concern about the future viability of the wholesale sector, (MPs’ votes go to multiples, p4) is another expression of support for diversity.

When I made a presentation to MPs at the Commons in 2004 on the launch of the My Shop Is Your Shop campaign, there was a genuine warmth in their response to the concept of defending the sole trader and family business in the grocery and news markets.

These businesses represent the core trading profile of every delivered and C&C wholesaler in the UK and we should thank Jim Dowd MP, chairman of the group, who invited FWD to make the presentation, for his consistency on this issue. Dowd has continuously demonstrated his loyalty to small business.

There will be dismay at the group’s apparent intention to support the superstores. This is life, a reality we must deal with and manage. There are no votes in telling your constituents that you are working to a plan that will put an end to low-price high-volume retailing. That is the job of the OFT.

But there is support in Parliament for non-multiple sole traders and family businesses running convenient local shops that are the focal point of community life. We hope that Jim will help to fix it.