Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council have made their case to the Government on how they view future service delivery and devolution in Cumbria.
The councils have today (Tuesday 8 December) submitted their preferred model for local government reorganisation in the county.
In the detailed submission, the councils outline how their proposals will meet their objectives of creating integration between areas and improving service delivery and outcomes for the community, while offering strong local leadership, accountability and representation. The model proposed would also offer a more simplified structure and remove duplication, while generating efficiencies.
The councils propose:
- Cumbria should be restructured into two unitary authorities; Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland should form one unitary authority, and Eden, South Lakeland and Barrow the other. The unitary authorities would carry out all the services in their area, and replace the current two-tier system of a county council and six districts.
- Above the two unitaries should be a combined authority (made up of the leadership of each unitary) and led by a Directly Elected Mayor for Cumbria.
The submissions have been made on behalf of the council’s respective Executive Committees.
In a joint statement, Cllr Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council and Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We have made a compelling case for change to the Government with the two-unitary model we propose and we'd like to thank everyone who responded to our consultation and provided support for our proposals.
“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 case makes that explicitly clear.
“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.”
The Government has invited proposals from all seven Cumbrian local authorities, and will consider all options submitted before going out to full public consultation on its preferred option(s) in the spring.
Any changes are likely to be implemented in 2023.
The full submission can be viewed at https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/council-and-democracy/local-government-reorganisation/ and on the Copeland website: www.copeland.gov.uk