The Government has announced tonight that it has launched an eight-week public consultation into proposals for local government reorganisation in Cumbria.
The Government is consulting on all four unitary authority proposals made by Cumbrian authorities in December. These are:
- Two unitary authorities – one for West Cumbria (made up of Copeland, Allerdale and Carlisle) and one for East Cumbria (made of Eden, Barrow and South Lakeland). This proposal was submitted by Copeland Borough Council and Allerdale Borough Council.
- Two unitary authorities – one for North Cumbria (made up of Carlisle, Eden and Allerdale) and one for South Cumbria (made up of Copeland, Barrow and South Lakeland). This proposal was submitted by Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council.
- The ‘Bay’ model of two unitary authorities – one for the Bay area (made up of Barrow, South Lakeland and Lancaster) and one for North Cumbria (made up of Copeland, Allerdale, Carlisle and Eden). This proposal was submitted by Barrow Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council.
- One unitary authority for the whole of Cumbria. This proposal was submitted by Cumbria County Council.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We welcome the Government’s launch of a public consultation into local government reorganisation in Cumbria, and the inclusion of the joint submission by Copeland Borough Council and Allerdale Borough Council as one of the four options being considered.
“We have made a compelling case for change with the two-unitary model we propose; with Copeland, Allerdale and Carlisle forming a West authority, and Eden, South Lakeland and Barrow forming a East authority.
“It would create organisations that are large enough to drive our ambitions for growth and excellent service delivery, while maintaining local identity and close links to our local communities.
“It is crucial that Copeland and Allerdale remain part of the same authority in any future model. Our local population, and our community and industry leaders, are equally unequivocal in this regard, and our proposal reflects that.
“The Government is actively driving its devolution agenda, and the right platform and structure needs to be created in Cumbria to allow the area to prosper, unlock growth, and to facilitate the levelling up agenda in the near future.
“We believe our model is the option that will deliver the future we deserve, and we encourage our community to respond to this important consultation to make your voices heard.”
Further to the consultation, the Government has announced the suspension of Cumbria County Council’s elections that were due to take place in May.
If any of the unitary authority proposals are agreed, elections to the new unitary, or unitaries, would take place in May 2022.
If, following the consultation, a unitary proposal is not implemented in Cumbria, the Cumbria County Council elections will take place in May 2022.
For full details and to respond to the consultation click here. It ends on April 19.
For further details of the joint proposal made by Copeland and Allerdale Councils, click here.