Well done to Mr McDonnell for raising the issue of a proposed betting shop in Hayes [Town's MP fights fifth betting shop, Gazette, December 17, 2008].

Punters are already catered for with regards to bookmakers in the town, and Mr McDonnell is also right when he asserts that the independent style shops are what Hayes is crying out for.

I know, from having worked in Shepherd's Bush in the past, that the new Westfield venue will dilute the trade of not a few small firms that span the Uxbridge Road, filtering back from W12 to Ealing Broadway, and the now abandoned western extension of the congestion charge may have exacerbated the retailers' problem.

We all know that the betting shops usually have the edge over their customers - indeed the only safe wager you can have is on Labour winning the next election, be it in 2009 or the year after, if Mr McDonnell makes popular moves like this.

My only quandary is the Euro currency adoption debate and how many furlongs that has before we join or not.

As for our Hayes and Harlington members' desires for a good menswear establishment - well it would be a nice addition but I can assure him he has my vote sewn up.


Aylsham Drive, Ruislip.