SIR: Your edition (June 25) quotes Cllr Cutler stating that Winchester City Council is going to have make some very hard decisions to bridge a gap of £11 million due to the effects of Covid-19 on its finances.

Winchester's financial difficulties are no different to that of other councils of all persuasions throughout the country - but it does have one advantage. Unlike many other councils (including neighbouring Eastleigh), it has not made massive investments in retail and office complexes. I have read that 40 per cent of Eastleigh's budget has come from such investments and with the current woes in the retail sector it faces a very considerable shortfall in its income.

More by luck than judgement, Winchester has been saved this particular problem by the failure of the previous Friarsgate development. The council may have had to pay Cllr. Gottlieb's costs when it lost the High Court case but it has probably turned out to be money well spent!

I very much hope that there will be a bipartisan approach to the council savings that have to be made as a result of this crisis - this is no time for "playing politics".

Andrew Beadle,

Milesdown Place,

St Giles Hill,