This ought not to be a fight between areas of high deprivation in our urban core and recognising that some services cost more to deliver in rural areas. Labour is calling for a genuinely fair funding settlement that would take into account deprivation, differential service delivery costs and the very particular circumstances of our coastal communities, which feel very much left behind. But we have no faith at all that that is where the Government are going. The Government are trying to redistribute a diminishing resource; we are seeing the redistribution of poverty under this Tory Government. The money just does not exist to fund public services where the demand is growing, which is in adult social care and children’s safeguarding.
We heard earlier that Basingstoke and Deane is a paradise of local government where residents have seen no impact of cuts whatever. That is unless, of course, they remember the 46% reduction of net expenditure on pest control, the 45% reduction on environmental protection, the 33% reduction on food safety, the 66% reduction on recreation and sport, the 27% reduction on open spaces or the 17% reduction on street cleaning.