The number of empty homes has fallen to its lowest level on record after dropping by more than a third between 2004 and 2015.
In December, Greg Clark announced a Local Government Finance Settlement that will pave the way for Britain to become "one of the most decentralised countries in the world" ahead of councils being 100 per cent funded by council tax, business rates...
So, farewell our Eric. It's finally all over at DCLG for the man who, to Pickleswatch, will always be known simply as the Chief.
Now, we're is going to stick our neck out and surmise that Eric provoked vigorous reactions in all he encountered during a turbulent five years making local government take its medicine from Whitehall. To say he hated you lot and you hated him right back might be a touch vinegary - but, let's face it, whatever you thought of the Pickles regime, he wasn't going to change for you or anybody else.