Potential New Councillors Event For Westmorland And Furness Council

Are you interested in helping to shape the future of local government in Cumbria?

Anyone considering standing to become a councillor on the new Westmorland and Furness Council is being invited to an online briefing event to learn more about the election process.

The online briefing is being held Wednesday, March 2, for agents and potential candidates looking to stand for election to Westmorland and Furness Council.

From April 1, 2023 local government in Cumbria is changing, as the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced by two new unitary authorities.

In the area currently covered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils a new authority, Westmorland and Furness Council, will be taking over providing all the services currently delivered in those areas by district and borough councils and the county council.

As part of the complex process to set up the Westmorland and Furness Council, elections will take place in May this year to elect 65 councillors in new wards across the Westmorland and Furness area.

These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a ‘Shadow Authority’ that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Westmorland and Furness Council.

The Shadow Authority will have important business to conclude before April 2023, including adopting a constitution and code of conduct for the Westmorland and Furness Council and appointing a cabinet and leader.

They will also designate interim officers to key statutory positions so that the new council can legally operate and will take decisions to prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by the county, borough and district councils from April 2023.

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver services until April 2023 and the Shadow Authority will work alongside, until Westmorland and Furness Council ‘goes live’ on April 1 2023.

It will be at that point the Shadow Authority and its 65 councillors become the new Westmorland and Furness Council and the existing county, borough and district councils will be dissolved.

Anyone who is interested in standing for election to Westmorland and Furness Council is being invited to attend the online briefing, starting at 5pm on March 2 2022, being hosted by the election Returning Officer, Sam Plum, who is Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council.

Sam Plum will be joined by election officers to explain more about the process of standing for election, including details about the nomination process and deadlines.

Potential candidates and agents can register for the briefing by sending an email to:communications@southlakeland.gov.uk

The deadline to register for the briefing is Monday, February 28 at 5pm.

A further email containing the Teams link and joining instruction for the briefing will then be forwarded to all those who have registered.

The intention is to record the briefing and make the recording available on request to anyone unable to attend on 2 March.

For more information about the Local Government Reorganisation process in Cumbria, please see: Home (newcouncilsforcumbria.info)