It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Main. I congratulate my hon. Friend Thelma Walker—a near neighbour of mine—on securing this important and timely debate.
I rise to speak as someone who, both as a Member of Parliament and as Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, works very closely with our local authorities. Not only do I lead the combined authority of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, but through the Yorkshire leaders board, I work very closely with all of Yorkshire’s other local authority leaders. As hon. Members will know, the work of our local authorities is critical to the communities that they are there to serve.
I was out on the doorstep in Barnsley at the weekend talking to my constituents and, although some of them wanted to talk about Brexit—completely understandably —many of them wanted to talk about other things, including bins, potholes, parking, antisocial behaviour and, of course, housing. Those are incredibly important issues that fall to local government.