from Jackie May, J&J May Stores, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire

Sir; I write to express my concerns about the relicensing arrangements for the sale of alcohol. I feel the reason for the slow, and in the case of some local authorities, non-existent take-up is that many retailers think there must be a mistake.
In terms of a percentage increase, the rise in the cost of a licence is enormous.
In our case, the cost has risen from £30 for three years to £190 per annum, plus the cost of individual licences.
My husband and I own and run a small grocer and our main profit comes from the sale of fresh foods.
The area designated for the sale of alcohol is behind the counter. These new licensing rules mean we will be paying
more than our local off-licence, as the cost of the licence is based on rates, which in turn are based on total square footage.
Our shop is larger than the off-licence, but the amount of space given to the sale of alcohol is minuscule.