There are many things that local authorities, working collectively, can do to try to mitigate the problems, and I am sure there are constructive ways of working, but—I am sorry that I sound like a broken tape recorder—how are they to do that? To be able to meet its legal obligations for social care, my local authority had to raise rates by 3% so it could meet the shortfall in social care funding for vulnerable people in my constituency. When the choice is between potholes and elderly, young or disabled people, the decision is obviously going to be for the vulnerable person. We need extra money. Not to have our roads properly repaired and not to have safe roads is counterproductive, for all the reasons I already stated.
There is a win-win here. A massive, extensive road-building programme will create jobs. There will be more production of the raw materials; there will be, for example, more factories producing cement and tarmac and all that is required for roads, and that will boost the manufacturing sector. It is a win-win.
I hope the Minister has heard what I have had to say. We need more money. I know this is not the sexiest subject in the world, but it is very important to my constituents and to the country.