That well known 'pop' combo Cameron & Osborne may have been consigned to the annals of political history - or, in George's case, to the Editor's Desk at the Evening Standard - but the country is still in thrall to their most famous tune: 'The Age of Austerity'.

The mood music then continues to call for modernised public services, efficiencies wherever possible, and a ruthless campaign to drive out costs.  

The stereotype in recent years has been of a Government determined, at best, to emasculate the public sector and, at worst, to kill it off completely, balanced against a wider public concern at the demise of the post-war social contract.  

The result of this consultation, though, suggests a shift in the narrative. Maybe Mrs May, and some of her political friends at least, really do see a central role for the public sector in 21st Century Britain (witness, too, the announcement about 'a new generation of council housing' at the Conservative Party Conference today); and at the same time, perhaps the public is more willing than we previously thought to accept structural change - provided that in return they receive a better standard of core services.

Whatever the truth of that, given the stance of the local councils, now it's over to you, Mrs Rudd!