I’ve just heard that a barber shop in Ramsbottom was fined £500 by Bury Council for foolishly trying to promote its business.

The shop is at the bottom of Dundee Lane, next door to the, now closed, Old Dunn.

The owner had erected an advertising banner on the wall of her shop, covering an old, peeling advert for beer once sold in a pub that has now been closed for some years and turned into flats.

This is insanity, don’t council planners understand some basic economics? Local businesses generate a huge amount of money for the local authority from business tax and other charges incurred for running a business.

Local businesses should be allowed to promote their services, especially on the wall of their own premises.

Don’t these bureaucrats realise that without advertising there is no customers, without customers there is no income, without income there is no business, with no business there is no business tax, with no business tax there is no money in the pot to pay these people’s wages, yes the same people doing their bests to make it impossible for struggling businesses to survive in these incredibly difficult times.

They need to step back and take a long hard look at the bigger picture. There has never been as many empty shops in our area and this kind of harsh treatment cannot be helping matters. Stop making it so hard to make an honest living. Ben Smale