The hon. Lady misrepresents even what the Public Accounts Committee had to say about the towns fund; I urge her to re-read what it said and not to be so liberal with her language. I can assure her that the high streets fund used a 100% competitive process, and Ministers had no say in choosing the places selected.
If fault lies anywhere, I am afraid it lies with the hon. Lady’s local council, because despite our giving it hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce plans, and despite the no doubt great need in the community, it failed to put forward proposals that met the Treasury’s basic benefit-cost ratio value-for-money standard. That is a great pity. The people of her local community have missed out, but if the blame lies anywhere, it lies with her local council.