Once upon a time news supplies were tightly controlled. 'Area sufficiently served' was enough to enable wholesalers to refuse newcomers. Then came the Code of Practice in 1994 which freed up supplies to pretty well everyone.

Now that code has come to the end of its life and it prompted a semi-anonymous email from Woolbrooknews, Sidmouth, Devon.

He or she writes: "I read with interest the OFT's decisions regarding news supply. I feel thought needs to be given to limiting the number of new news retailers. I know that the issue of new shops wanting to have a news supply needs to be addressed to ensure that supply is fairly available, but maybe there also needs to be a common sense approach to how many can supply news in a designated area.

"I have seen far too many having their sales reduced to a such a level as to make them unviable. Newsagents get up early to set up rounds and provide a valuable service to the community.

"What is wrong with being a specialist rather than a jack of all trades? Discuss."

Well, what do you think?

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