§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent representations she has received concerning the financial situation of the Youth Hostels Association; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Howells
We have received over 60 representations on the financial situation of the Youth Hostels Association for England and Wales (YHA). On 30 October 2001 I had a productive meeting with representatives of the YHA to discuss their difficulties and possible sources of help. The Government are pursuing several practical options to assist the YHA. We will also respond shortly to the recommendations in the report of the Rural Task Force, "Tackling the Impact of Foot and Mouth Disease on the Rural Economy" published on 18 October 2001.