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Is the Secretary of State aware that official statistics published by the Department show that the London borough of Newham is the second most deprived borough in the country? Is he aware that the local council is wrestling with massive problems, including a terrible housing problem, exacerbated by the need to remove tower blocks like the notorious Ronan Point? Does he agree that on any objective criteria the Government should be granting partnership status to Newham and helping the area, not rate-capping it? Does he agree that decisions about expenditure should be taken locally and decided by local democracy in elections? Is he aware that in the elections immediately following the setting of a rate in Newham Labour won 60 seats of of 60? Is that why he is being so vindictive to Newham?