What is clear is that local authorities need to think through their charging policies. As hon. Members will know, Derbyshire, for instance, provides one in three of its elderly residents with a home help, and charges nothing. There has been a dramatic expansion in community services, with an increase of 30 per cent. in the number of day centres for the elderly, an increase of 25 per cent. in the meals on wheels service and a 27 per cent. increase in the number of home helps.
As local authorities implement the community care policies, it is essential that they manage their resources effectively and well. The spending of social services departments has risen by 52 per cent. in the past 11 years. We are already clearly identifying the cost of implementing community care and, in turning that policy into practice, local authorities must ensure that they achieve good value for money.