I welcome the opportunity to discuss the settlement. When I saw that the Secretary of State in his place I thought that his presence might raise the tone of the debate, but so far it has not really done so, although I am sure that the hordes of Labour Members sitting opposite me have contributions to make.
The debate concerns the third year of a three-year settlement. Notwithstanding the banter that we have heard, it contains nothing particularly controversial. Many councils were very happy to have a three-year settlement. It has been delivered according to plan, and given what has been going on in the wider economy, I think that a number of them were grateful for the stability that it offered.
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