I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I also serve as a local councillor on Bradford Council. Mr Deputy Speaker kindly added my name to the list of speakers. I promised him that I would be as brief as possible.
I will confine my comments to the revenue support grant, to which an hon. Friend alluded earlier. I am disappointed that the Secretary of State did not come to the House with any real proposals, even after the consultation, to increase funding for struggling councils. Before I come on to that, however, I want to comment on two or three points that were raised by the Secretary of State and others.
On business rates, I think that Members on both sides of the House welcome the review. It cannot be right for high street shops to be paying more than some other businesses, so I look forward to that review. I hope that it incorporates factors such as the deprivation that affect the poorest communities.
On social care, the precept in councils with some of the most deprived communities will not go towards addressing the gap in social care funding. Sadly, I have heard nothing today to convince me that the Government have got the social care crisis under control. Some Members have said it is not a crisis, but it is.