I look forward to hearing part two of the hon. Gentleman's speech either tomorrow or on Thursday.
I am not willing to give the hon. Gentleman any commitment about the number of councillors, especially before the start of the consultation about that very matter.
As for what the hon. Gentleman said about the Government's relations with local authorities, his memory must be defective, or at least selective. I recall the relationship between the last Labour Government and local government, and the powers that that Government used to control it. I also recall their dramatic cuts in rate support grant.