I want to make some progress, because I am conscious of the number of people down to speak.
We need to ask a number of questions when faced with the settlement. First, does it step up to meet the scale of the challenges facing local public services in England today? Does it meet the challenge of 1.2 million older people who would have been entitled to social care in 2010 who no longer get the care they need? Does it meet the challenge of huge increases in the number of child protection and looked-after children cases reported by the LGA? After nearly a decade of Tory-dominated Government, does it begin to rebuild the essential community infrastructure that was taken away after the financial crash?
My view is that it fails on every one of those counts. The funding settlement today is little more than an insult. I want to put this into context—after all, we can have a party political debate about it and attribute blame, but that makes no difference to the day-to-day experiences of local councils.