He writes in part: "Tesco is opening an Express store soon in Bracebridge. No one knows for sure what effect this will have on other food shops in the vicinity, but local traders are afraid that their businesses will suffer, perhaps close. Many local people have registered their opposition to Tesco because they don't want to lose the choice of small shops they already have. I am a local trader and am fearful for my family's livelihood. I am also fearful for those of my customers who rely on the level of personal service provided by shops such as mine, particularly the elderly and those who cannot get about.
"Local people are likely to end up with less choice rather than more, and with diminished service. Will Tesco change a lightbulb as well as sell it, for example? Or advise customers of cheaper alternatives to the things they have put on the counter?"
He goes on to suggest that the Competition Commission's decision to consider the retail market as two separate markets allowed multiples to build share in the convenience sector. "The push for convenience share has now accelerated to breakneck speed, with the big boys buying up everything they can."
He wondered whether he had got that bit right, so I checked with Shane Brennan, who handles public affairs for the Association of Convenience Stores. Shane was able to spout it off the top of his head.
The Competition Commission's 2000 inquiry defined the two markets as Ian described: one for top-ups; one for supers. It only became a problem in 2002 when the Office of Fair Trading used it to allow Tesco to acquire T&S (One Stop) and set the ball rolling for a number of acquisitions that led to massive growth.
However, reference to the 2000 Competition Commission report alone would be outdated because it was replaced in 2008 by another, more complicated, inquiry. The way Ian's letter is worded is fine, but adding in the OFT details would explain the course of events.
For anyone else putting their own letters together, here are a couple more facts that Ian has included in his: Sainsbury's plans to open 100 Locals this year. Tesco has announced that it sees the potential for 1,000 more Express-style stores across the country. Asda has recently acquired 193 Netto stores.
His small corner shop has seven regular Lincolnshire-based suppliers. When the mults move in profits will disappear out of the area to support shareholders, central administration, expansion and loss-making sectors of the company.
He fears the prospect of independently owned small shops becoming no more than a memory. It's a bleak message, but a very good letter.