Allerdale Borough Council is consulting with councillors and local people on potential changes to the structure of local government to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to have their say.
The council, and all local authorities in Cumbria, have been invited to submit their proposals for local reorganisation to the Government by December 9.
The Government’s preferred model is to create unitary authorities. This would mean one council carries out all the services for an area and would replace the current two-tier structure in Cumbria of a county council and six districts, each with their own responsibilities and services.
Allerdale council's initial proposal was submitted in early November and outlines its preference for two unitary councils for Cumbria, along with the creation of combined authority run by an Elected Mayor of Cumbria. The Council's Executive has indicated that their preferred position is to form a new authority on the footprint of the existing Allerdale, Copeland and Carlisle Councils.
The Council will be having a debate on the issue at a meeting tonight (Monday 23 November). The meeting is an opportunity for councillors to have their say on the proposals as well as debate two related motions. The meeting, which starts at 7pm, will be live streamed on the council's YouTube channel and the agenda is available at: https://democracy.allerdale.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=32&MId=5069
The views of residents, businesses and organisations on the Council's proposal is also being sought through an online consultation. The results will help inform the council’s final submission to government.
Cllr Mike Johnson, deputy leader of the council, said: "The government is very much driving the devolution agenda, and this is our chance to influence how our councils are run for years to come. It is therefore vital we get this right.
"If we succeed, we'll all benefit from the efficiencies in service delivery, our councils will become more financially sustainable, and we'll unlock potential investment currently not available to us. We believe our proposals would do all these things, as well as maintain a close relationship with the communities we serve.
"We think we've put together a good initial proposal but want to make sure everyone has their say on it to help inform our final submission in December. That's why I want to hear the views of fellow councillors, and really do welcome the views of residents, businesses and organisations. I urge everyone who'd like to contribute to go online and complete the survey before the deadline date."
The Government will consider all proposals received by Cumbrian authorities and will go out to public consultation on its preferred model in Spring 2021.
The survey and further information about the process can be accessed at https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/council-and-democracy/local-government-reorganisation/. The deadline for responses is December 2.