I very much agree with the point that my hon. Friend makes about looking at the fairness of the distribution, and I know that he has spoken powerfully about that in the past. We are looking at it, and I will come to it shortly in my speech.
A world of constant change, involving big shifts in demographics, lifestyles and technology, demands an updated and more responsive way of distributing funding. That means that we have to question the fairness of the current system, which is why I was pleased to launch a formal consultation on a review of councils’ relative needs and resources in December. This is not just a paper exercise. We have an unparalleled opportunity to be really bold and ambitious, and to consider with the sector where the most up-to-date evidence and data lead on drivers of local authority costs and to create a whole new system that gives councils the confidence to face the opportunities and challenges of the future.