The UK government has announced their decision on the future of local government in Cumbria.
The government has announced today (Wednesday, 21 July) that it plans to progress with West Cumbria and East Cumbria proposal.
Earlier this year councils in Cumbria developed proposals in response to a letter from Government inviting submissions on ‘locally-led proposals for unitary government’.
Four proposals for Cumbria were put out for consultation:
Barrow, South Lakeland and Lancaster jointly submitted a proposal for two unitary councils: 'The Bay' comprising the area covered by Barrow Borough, South Lakeland District and Lancaster City Councils and ‘North Cumbria’, comprising the area covered by Allerdale Borough, Carlisle City, Copeland Borough and Eden District Councils.
Allerdale and Copeland jointly submitted a proposal for two unitary councils: ‘West Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Allerdale Borough, Carlisle City and Copeland Borough Councils and ‘East Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District Councils.
Carlisle and Eden jointly submitted a proposal for two unitary councils: ‘North Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Allerdale Borough, Carlisle City and Eden District Councils and ‘South Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Barrow Borough, Copeland Borough and South Lakeland District Councils.
Cumbria County Council submitted a proposal for a single unitary council covering the county area of Cumbria County ‘One Cumbria’.
The recent Government consultation was open to businesses, community and voluntary sector organisations and members of the public.
Government has announced that it intends to progress with the West Cumbria and East Cumbria proposal.
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr. John Mallinson, said:
"Two unitary councils is the optimum balance between local government being close to the communities it serves, but also having the resources and influence to drive positive change.
"We look forward to working with the government to discuss the next steps.
“We will also work with our council colleagues across Cumbria to ensure that the next stage of the local government reorganisation happens as smoothly as possible.
“We want to reassure residents, businesses and partner organisations that we will continue to deliver our excellent services and support in the interim.”
Leader of Eden District Council, Cllr. Virginia Taylor, added:
“I look forward to collaborating with government, all council colleagues, and other partners to effect efficient transitions to the two new authorities. Together with all partners we will improve existing services while developing new ones - and retain and deliver local services locally.
“Speaking for Eden, we are mindful of the importance of businesses, parish and town councils, and residents, and assure them that services will continue without interruption.”