I have sympathy with some of the concerns that have been raised. However, let me first express my gratitude to the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings for undertaking my role. He saved me the trouble of cross-examining the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), although I shall not intrude too much on private grief.
Obviously, this is an important issue. The hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire opened it up a little more, and I shall try to respond to his points, too. Central Government give local authorities a significant number of duties, and it is important that authorities have sufficient resources to carry them out when we add to them. I should tell the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings—I am sure that there is a way of rendering the name of his constituency more incisively, although I should probably keep to the proper title—