Mr Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Those are very welcome announcements. Is my right hon. Friend also going to take action to stop rapacious councils making a misery of the lives of normally law-abiding motorists who slightly overstay their welcome at parking places and are then treated as if they were criminals? I am sure it would lift confidence if they were spared some of the excess.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr Eric Pickles): My right hon. Friend and I are as one on that matter. He will recall that the Government have consulted on this and on other issues related to parking, and that the consultation period has recently ended. We hope to make an announcement in the very near future.
Mr Redwood: My right hon. Friend might like to know that about a decade ago I wrote a pamphlet called “Thames Reach”, recommending a new town in the Ebbsfleet area. I recommended it to the Labour Government, as I am full of generous good ideas and thought they might want to take it up. I think they agreed with it, but they did absolutely nothing. Can he explain why?
Mr Pickles: No, I cannot explain why. I suspect that my right hon. Friend’s reputation as a scourge from the right may have put the Labour Government off. I suspect they never got further than the title page, but had they gone on they would have seen some very sensible suggestions. We are free from that prejudice and, of course, he is an inspiration to us all.
Mr Redwood: Why did the new and very expensive and complicated regulators the Labour Government introduced fail to control the banks when people like me were telling them they did not have enough cash for capital?
Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): I agree with the right hon. Gentleman to this extent: we did not regulate the banks well enough or carefully enough, but his party—not necessarily him, but his leadership—was saying that there should be less regulation of the banks at that time, yet now they have the temerity to attack our spending plans when we brought borrowing down. [Interruption.]