§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of market towns are classified as(a) thriving, (b) stable and (c) declining at the latest date for which figures are available, stating in each case the measures used. 
§ Alun Michael
No classification is available at present. However, The Countryside Agency has embarked on a research project to look into the health and viability of Market Towns. The project will inform on the development economic and social indicators. It is expected to report by February 2003.