§ Mr. Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of self-regulation in the newspaper wholesaling and retailing sectors; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Howells
DTI works closely with those involved across the newspaper sector and, although no formal assessment of the effectiveness of self regulation in the sector has recently been carried out, I believe that in general self regulation is working reasonably well. In particular, I am aware of the recent agreement by those involved in both newspapers and magazines to enter into a process to re-examine distribution issues and we shall be following developments in those discussions.
§ Mr. Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents about problems facing independent retailers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Hewitt
Small independent retailers are a vitally important part of the economic life of the country, creating wealth, satisfying customer demands, providing employment and playing an important social role within communities. Although there has been no recent contact with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) we do recognise the difficulties their members face. For example, the Better Regulation Task Force will this year be investigating the regulatory burden faced by small retailers and will be reporting on this in due course.