I agree with Gill Weeks about corporates not doing enough for the town.

Twenty years ago, as chairman of Knutsford Chamber of Trade, we used to collect donations from traders to fund the cost of the Christmas lights, and it was always the corporates that refused to contribute.

However, far more worrying is how the corporates minimise their tax bills, creating an unfair competition against local retailers and businesses.

Tax abuse costs the UK economy at least £70 billion a year, about half the cost of running the NHS.

Take Boots for example. In a leveraged buyout in 2007, Boots became a private equity owned firm and relocated its head office to Switzerland, a tax haven. The company now pays significantly less tax than it did.

Then there’s Amazon. Sales made to customers in the UK are booked through the UK branch of a Luxembourg-based company, Amazon EU Sarl, which means that of a total UK turnover in 2018 of more than £11 billion, Amazon paid tax of £1.7 million in 2017, according to The Guardian.

In 2015, the UK government introduced a ‘diverted profits tax’ to try to stop companies taking advantage of arrangements like these.

Just before the new tax came into force, Amazon opened the UK branch, meaning UK sales and profits were declared to HMRC.

The standard response from companies is that they have a duty to their shareholders to reduce tax, and that they pay all relevant taxes due. This is true, but disingenuous.

The only way we can fight back is to stop buying from these companies, and shop local.

Local business pays tax nationally, to the council, and supports our vibrant high street, with local owners spending locally, creating a virtuous circle.

So I urge readers to think carefully about how much your supplier is contributing to the local community, and how much they are supporting our country tax wise before making a purchase.

Richard Cussons Knutsford