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At least the hon. Gentleman makes a considered intervention, unlike some others, and I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge of local government, but I must beg to differ with him. First, the band D measure is universally accepted as the intellectually and academically approved average. One only has to look at the work of Tony Travers, the well-known independent commentator, who has said that on a number of occasions. Secondly, the use of the band follows common sense, as the other bands are set as percentages in relation to band D, so band D gives the average. It is well established by all respectable public bodies-apart from those who may want to make a point of their own-that that is the best means of comparing like with like. I am sorry to have to disagree with the hon. Gentleman, but I am afraid that he is wrong on this one.
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