No, I am going to make some progress.
After all, by cutting funding to councils, Ministers have shifted the blame on to councillors, including Conservative councillors. Councils of all political persuasions and none are now at breaking point. The effects of that on our communities are plain to see across the country. More than 500 children’s centres have shut down and 475 libraries have closed. Support for disabled children has been stripped away—for example, the transport that helped them to get to school to learn like their friends. Support for older people has been slashed, with 1.4 million older people now not getting the necessary help with essential tasks such as washing and dressing. Bus routes have been cut. Our roads are in disrepair, and before the Government laud the £420 million for potholes, I must point out the £1 billion backlog created by this Government’s cuts. Swimming pools, leisure centres and community spaces have closed. Bin collections have been reduced. Youth clubs have closed. Planning departments have been stripped out. Trading standards offices have been slashed, leaving more people at risk of fraud or dodgy goods. Streetlights have been turned off to save money.