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It is a privilege to wind up this important debate. We all believe in the power of local public services, but you can’t do it on the cheap.
May I congratulate Government Members who have made their maiden speeches today? The hon. Members for North Norfolk (Duncan Baker), for Keighley (Robbie Moore) and for Orpington (Mr Bacon) all displayed a real sense of place and community.
May I also thank my fellow Labour Members for their contributions? My hon. Friend Mr Betts is, of course, the Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, which has done a great deal of work on local government finance and devolution in particular. He was very clear that unless we address the crippling pressure on adult social care and children’s services, there will be a £10 billion funding gap. He also commented on the real pressure on and costs for neighbourhood services, which we all see in our communities. Many of the services on which we rely have had to be removed so that adult social care and children’s services can be kept going.
My right hon. Friend Mr Jones pointed out that the red wall Tories were all absent from this debate, even though the areas they represent—[Interruption.]