WHEN we were told how long the work was going to take at the top of Witton Street, we could not believe it, and now in fact it has gone on even longer than originally planned.

No-one has sympathy for a bookmaker but my overheads are approximately £12,000 a month. Because of the shambles outside we were so quiet last month that never mind making a profit we did not even make overheads. The month before we lost £5,000, and the month before that £2,000. So in fact my personal contribution to the very nice pavement is circa £20,000. A lot of my regular customers who have come here since I opened have stopped coming. Hopefully when re-opened they will return but I am not holding my breath.

Sue, who your article was about is worried-sick. Julie who runs dry cleaners has had no wages for six weeks. All the traders are just hanging in.

The very least the council should have done was pay our business rates, this would have at least showed some understanding.

And on a very small point, the carpets in my shop are completely ruined by all the dirt from workmen etc popping in for a free coffee. Just got a quote of £1,800 for new ones. I have stopped cleaning windows because there is no point, so I have saved £10 a week there.

Did I say my contribution was £20,000?

RICHARD MCDONALD PP Racing, Witton Street, Northwich