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Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Local Government Association on the future of local authority small holdings following the recent decision of Staffordshire county council to retain its stock. (198118)

The Government have not recently had any specific discussions with the Local Government Association about the future of county farms, although they have regular discussions with interested stakeholders on this subject. We would always urge local authorities to think carefully when making decisions about the future of their smallholding estates. Therefore I am very pleased that as a result of its consultation exercise, Staffordshire county council has decided to retain a smallholding estate.