This week’s issue of British Baker contains a reader research form and I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to fill it in. It will tell us what you want to see more of, less of and any new directions you want us take the magazine in or whether you would rather we leave it pretty much as it is at the moment. We really do value your readership and your opinion.

I am very fussy about personal details not being passed on and I have been completely assured that they will not be, so thank you in advance; I look forward to receiving your comments about last week’s issue, which I hope has arrived between the postal strikes.

Just to prove we do listen, over the years, many people have told me that there is no point in advertising a £150 piece of bakery equipment in the classified section of the magazine, when the classified advertisement can cost more than that. Instead, you had to use catering magazines.

So, please do turn to page 28 - and tell all your colleagues to do the same - as we now have lineage ads for new, used or second-hand machinery. Please support this so we can keep it going. If no one uses it, it will have to stop.

’Support’ is, in fact, the theme of this week’s Viewpoint and I would like to thank all those who supported our Bakers’ Fair in Bolton last weekend (pg 4). Exhibitors had effective stands and the Richemont Club of Great Britain put on some superb competitions. They made one feel so proud of the talent in this industry - and the Tameside students were fantastic with their entries and enthusiasm. There will be more news and pictures of the Fair in next week’s issue.

But I would like to end by asking for your support in one other area. The government has once again shown blatant disregard for small businesses on the tax regime. It is appalling, and just gets worse.

Look at the list of measures designed to hit small businesses, detailed by Paula Tallon on page 14. Do they so loathe independent entrepreneurs and businessmen that they sit down and think of ways to penalise them even more? It is merciless. So if you are a craft baker, ingredients or equipment supplier do please support the Forum of Private Business and sign its petition. Details are on page 5.