Proposals for creating unitary authorities

Eden District Council, in partnership with Carlisle City Council, has formally responded to the Government’s invitation to all Councils in Cumbria to submit proposals for creating unitary authorities in the county.

Cumbria local government reorganisation case for change (PDF 4Mb / 86 pages).

Proposal for a Single Tier of Local Government in Cumbria – Full Proposal from Eden District Council letter (PDF 565Kb / 3 pages).

Eden, Carlisle, Allerdale and Copeland Councils all share the view that the best outcomes for the people of Cumbria would be delivered through establishing two new Unitary Authorities and a Mayoral Combined Authority.

Eden and Carlisle’s preferred option is to form two new authorities on the footprint of the existing Eden, Carlisle and Allerdale Councils in the North and Copeland, Barrow and South Lakeland Councils in the South.

The submission to the Government sets out how this proposed Unitary Authority model, along with a Cumbrian Mayoralty, will improve local government and service delivery, whilst giving greater value for money and providing stronger strategic and local leadership.

How to respond

The consultation closed on 19 April 2021.

You can view all the submissions and comment online at

Alternatively, you can email your response to the questions in the consultation to

If you are responding in email or writing, please make it clear which area and questions you are responding to.

Written responses should be sent to:

Governance Reform and Democracy
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
2 Marsham Street

When you reply it would be very useful if you confirm whether you are replying as an individual or submitting an official response on behalf of an organisation and include:

  • Your name
  • Are you responding as a resident or on behalf of an organisation? Please indicate as below:
    • Resident living in area affected
    • Resident not living in area affected
    • Business
    • Education
    • Local government
    • Police
    • Fire
    • Health body
    • Other
  • Your position in the organisation (if applicable)
  • An email address

Some key points:

  • The Cumbrian district council leaders are in agreement that, if reorganisation is to happen, then it should be based on two unitary councils covering Cumbria.
  • Eden District Council and Carlisle City Council support the submission of a full proposal for two unitary councils to be created in Cumbria based on the existing district boundaries of Allerdale, Carlisle & Eden in the North; and Barrow, Copeland and South Lakeland in the South.
  • Two unitary councils strike the optimum balance between local government being close to the communities it serves, while having the resources and influence to drive positive change.
  • Two unitaries will also support the establishment of a mayoral combined authority that has a genuine strategic purpose and provides the basis for devolution to the area.
  • We believe that the North and South unitary model for Cumbria is the best option for our residents, businesses and the wider region. It would result in effective and convenient local government with a strong sense of place. It’s the best way forward for Eden, Carlisle and Cumbria.
  • We want a positive future for Eden and Carlisle, this will be best achieved by this new model for local government in Cumbria.

We want to:

  • Protect the investment in our areas and influence positive change.
  • Continue to provide quality local services - the things that matter to you most. Local is best - we can react quickly and provide the best possible support.
  • Provide the best building blocks for recovery and growth.
  • Protect our heritage and culture. Promoting a sense of place.
  • Retain jobs, skills and knowledge within the local economy.
  • Ensure stronger, more effective strategic leadership for business.
  • Have direct control over all the services residents and businesses use.
  • Ensure investment in local infrastructure and services.
  • Have closer control of education and children’s services, healthcare provision and transport infrastructure.
  • Make local government more accountable to the communities it serves.
  • Support a modern farming and food economy fit for the 21st century.
  • Give a local voice to rural communities and businesses.
  • Promote connectivity for rural communities to facilitate remote working and online business.
  • Create a sustainable environmental and financial model for local government.
  • Lead by example on sustainability and biodiversity as well as reducing CO2e and promoting biodiversity.
  • We will encourage and support investment in the green economy and jobs.
Last updated: Sunday, 3 October, 2021.