LAST week the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced the final round of a multi-year funding deal for local authorities, worth over £200bn.

This includes extra funding for our local services, particularly focusing on vulnerable groups such as the elderly.

Social care, an area that many of you have written to me about, has received particular attention.

An additional £650 million has been announced, including £240 million to help support adult social care across the country, reducing pressure on the NHS.

Another £410 million will also go to local authorities to support all social care services.

Rural funding is also seeing an increase, from £16 million to £81 million, the highest-ever level of funding provided.

There has also been considerable discussion about making sure local authorities are certain about the level of funding they will be receiving in the future, so the Government has announced a review into the current system, with a view to updating their current method of distributing funding for local authorities.

The Home Secretary has also announced an increase in funding to the police.

This increase will be worth up to £813 million, which combined with commitments in the Autumn Budget will increase total police funding next year by £970 million.

Particularly welcome is the specific commitment to Thames Valley Police, who will receive an additional £4 million in grant funding as well as £4.3 million to go towards pensions.

Altogether Thames Valley Police will see a total increase in funding of up to £33 million next year.

In addition to these local commitments, the government will be investing £90 million to tackle serious and organised crime threats including economic crime, child sexual exploitation, and cyber crime.

An additional £160m will be provided for counter-terrorism policing, a year-on-year increase of £59m which will take annual funding for counter-terrorism policing to over £800m.

I am very supportive of both of these initiatives.

The increased funding for social care services is very welcome locally at a time when the NHS is facing increased pressure.

Additional police funding is also greatly appreciated, and I am pleased the Home Secretary has provided specific funding to Thames Valley Police.'