This last year has been a turbulent time in British politics. The decision to leave the EU was a big decision but it was also a divisive debate which some have continued. I think everyone in parliament has an important responsibility to put the arguments of the past behind them and focus instead on getting the best possible Brexit deal. We must create a new partnership with the EU based on friendship that reassures those who are apprehensive about leaving, while respecting the clear decision to take back control and make our own laws again.
However, there are many more issues than leaving the EU and I have worked locally to address problems faced by people here. I hold weekly surgeries and have helped people with issues from benefits, housing and hospital appointments to disputes with neighbours, visa enquiries and school places. I also meet regularly with many of our fantastic local businesses.
I am committed to ensuring fairer funding for Cornwall, and I have met with the Schools Minister on several occasions to ensure that our schools here in Hayle, Camborne and Redruth are not losing out. As a result, the government has confirmed that the schools budget for Cornwall will rise by over 3 percent and they have provided enough cash to ensure that we can progress towards a more consistent national formula while no individual school need lose out.
During the last week, the Home Office has announced a £450 million increase in police funding across England and Wales. This includes up to an additional £270 million in police force budgets, so individual forces have the resources they need to respond to changes in demand. Police funding in Devon and Cornwall could increase by up to £8.5 million in 2018/19 as a result of these changes.
The counter terrorism policing budget will rise by 7 per cent, with a £50 million increase taking it to at least £757 million. This means the Government is now spending more on counter terrorism policing than ever before.
Over the past seven years, crime has fallen by more than a third across the country, but we have more to do. Since becoming an MP, I have fought to end the historical injustices in the way that services in Cornwall are funded. I am pleased that funding for Devon and Cornwall is increasing, and that the Government is investing to help the police keep people safe in our communities.
Locally, 2018 is set to be an exciting year. The Kresen Kernow Archive centre in Redruth is due to open in 2018, which is a key part of the ongoing regeneration work. The swimming pool at Carn Brea Leisure Centre is being refurbished, and in Hayle I hope that we will see the excellent work around the Harbour being continued in 2018.