§ Sir Peter Emery
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action the Government are taking to ensure that those who have houses with thatched roofs are able to maintain and keep the thatch. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
My Department has supported research in collaboration with the industry which has provided guidance on the use of thatch, on growing, selection, performance, best practice and fire safety. English Heritage has helped to develop various publications on thatch and a new publication "Thatch and Thatching", aimed at providing user-friendly guidance, will be published very shortly. English Heritage is also running exhibitions and half day conferences for thatchers and local authority planning officers starting early in the new year.