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Introducing our Council Strategy for 2020-2030

Our Council Strategy is the key document that sets out our ambitions, priority objectives and principles for the next 10 years. It helps us focus our efforts where we believe we can best use our services and our influence to improve lives and improve futures.

In putting this strategy together we have developed the priorities and objectives that we believe will help to make Allerdale a place where our communities can thrive.

To ensure that everyone can prosper in our area we need to work towards a sustainable future – for our economy, our environment and our communities – as well as creating a sustainable footing for the council so that we can continue to provide the services that our communities need. 

There are key things that we need to do to deliver a sustainable future including:

  • making sure that the council is on a sound financial footing
  • ensuring we deliver high quality services
  • making sure our neighbourhoods are clean and tidy as well as addressing wider environmental issues
  • supporting our towns as key service centres for all of our communities
  • taking action to ensure we have the right homes in the right places
  • supporting our communities to be healthy, active and engaged
  • investing to support businesses so there are good employment opportunities to keep people in and attract people to Allerdale.

Like all local authorities we have faced significant reductions in funding since 2010 and the next few years will see continued pressure on the council’s finances. But, we are determined to do the best for our communities and find ways to make the money we have work better. We will look to innovate, seek new ways of working whether through technology or collaboration and find ways to increase our income. We have set out an objective in this strategy to be self-sufficient by 2030.

We recognise that only through collaborating with others will we achieve our ambitions for our area. Building positive partnerships with the people and communities we serve and our partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors is key to all of the ambitions set out in this strategy and it will be vital for us to make sure that we fulfil our role as local leaders able to influence and work well with others.  

Councillor Marion Fitzgerald
Leader of Allerdale Borough Council


Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030


Openness and transparency

We believe in the importance of being open and transparent in all that we do, providing the public with the information that they need to decide if we are performing well and responding to their needs. This also involves being open and honest about what we can still afford to do and being clear with our residents what they can expect.

Partnership and collaboration

We recognise that only through collaborating with others will we achieve our ambitions for our area. Building positive partnerships with the people and communities we serve and our partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors is key to all of the ambitions set out in this strategy and it will be vital for us to make sure that we fulfil our role as local leaders able to influence and work well with others. 

Innovation and commerciality

We will constantly look for ways to do things differently and better to deliver savings or generate income for the council. We need to be more entrepreneurial in the way we do business, looking for, planning for and taking advantage of opportunities.

Strong community leadership

Demonstrating leadership within our communities is vital if we are to achieve our ambitions and we will continue to support the role of councillors in providing collective community leadership and articulating the issues and priorities in their local areas. We also have a vital role as local leaders to influence and lobby at a national, regional and county level to ensure that the needs of our communities and our area are recognised and supported.

Services and actions that reflect local need

We need to be flexible and responsive in the delivery of services. Allerdale is made up of distinct areas with differing issues and needs so we may need to adapt the way we deliver services and projects across those areas depending on identified need.  

Access and fairness

People have different requirements and preferences when it comes to how they access our services so we will make sure we take those into account when we design and deliver services.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary  

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030


Why is this a priority?

We have managed our finances well over the past years and have successfully made changes and savings whilst still offering high quality services to our residents. 

However, we face a substantial financial challenge over the lifetime of this strategy as local government financing continues to undergo a fundamental change. By 2021 we expect to have little or no revenue support grant from Government which means that all of our income will have to come from council tax, business rates and other streams, such as investments or service income. 

Our objectives:

  • Address the projected budget gap
  • Become self-sufficient by 2030
  • Become more commercial
  • Become more efficient and productive

What are we planning to do?

It is vitally important that we address our future projected funding gap to make sure that we are in a healthy financial position so that we can continue to deliver services to our communities and vital improvements to the area.

We will continue to plan to make further reductions in our operating costs and generate additional income. We have set ourselves an objective to be self-sufficient by 2030. We plan to develop some innovative and collaborative approaches to continue to be able to provide the best public services we possibly can and provide the resource to achieve the ambitions set out in this strategy.

This will include activity such as looking at how we can generate more income from our existing trading services or selling other services, improving the ways we commission and procure services and goods and manage contracts to make sure we are getting maximum benefit for the council and the area and investing in new income streams.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary  

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030

Why is this a priority?

Whilst we are facing continued financial challenges we are committed to continuing to offer high quality services to our residents. This is about making sure that we provide our basic services well.

This does not mean that we need to carry on providing services in exactly the same ways as we have before; customer needs and expectations are changing, as is the world around us and we need to adapt with those changes.

Our objectives:

  • Make it easy for customers to contact us
  • Ensure we get it right first time
  • Be bold in our use of technology
  • Look at different and better ways to deliver services

What are we planning to do?

We will review and redesign processes to provide a better service to customers. As part of this we will look for better ways of working and innovative approaches to service delivery. This may lead to different ways of delivering services jointly with partners or through other organisations.

We plan to make the best use of technology to improve services, both behind the scenes and to help people access a range of services better. 

We want to support people to access services in different ways, to provide choice to people with busy lives, whether that is by accessing services online, on the phone or through local contact points.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary   

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030

Why is this a priority?

Our towns and villages are the heart of our communities. Alongside clean streets and spaces our residents need good homes, leisure and cultural facilities, access to shops and services so that our towns and villages are lively and attractive places. This is important in appealing to visitors and new residents, too.

Our area offers a fantastic place to visit and we want to encourage more people to come and see the amazing landscapes and heritage that we have to offer. 

Our objectives:

  • Create deliverable town plans that enable our towns to adapt to the changing nature of the high street
  • Give people a reason to visit our towns (festivals, events, cultural and sporting activities, markets)
  • Support businesses (with advice, finance and accommodation)
  • Ensure there are suitable, affordable, decent homes for all
  • Increase the number of people living in our town centres
  • Build communities, not just homes

What are we planning to do?

We have committed to implementing the Maryport Regeneration Scheme over the course of this strategy and aim to develop plans for our other towns. Iinitially, we are planning to take full advantage of funding opportunities in towns such as Workington.

As well as action to improve the way places look and feel through activity such as our popular facelift schemes, supporting businesses, festivals, arts and sporting events will also be important to ensure that there is a wide range of quality facilities and things to do for visitors to the area and our residents alike.

We will invest in creating and growing local businesses through initiatives such as the Allerdale Loans Fund and by offering more and better business accommodation.

We aim to meet housing needs by supporting a good range and supply of homes, available in the right locations in Allerdale. This includes new build, conversions and bringing empty properties back into use. We also need to make sure that a proportion of homes are affordable (both to buy and to rent). The ways that we will do this include supporting Community Land Trusts, securing the maximum numbers of affordable units we can as part of new developments and working closely with housing associations to make sure there are enough social rented properties. We will also continue to deliver our successful grants scheme to enable people to stay in their own homes for longer and will work to improve the quality of housing in the private sector through inspection and appropriate enforcement.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary  

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030

Why is this a priority?

To continue to be a prosperous area we need our existing businesses to see Allerdale as an area that they can stay and grow in and we need the area to be attractive to new business as a place to invest. Growing our economy will in turn help to support the range of services and facilities that people need and expect in their area.

Attracting new and different businesses to the area as well as helping those already here to grow will help us to create more varied work opportunities and make our local economy less reliant on a small number of business types. 

Our objectives:

  • Use our asset portfolio to create new or different opportunities (at Lillyhall, Oldside, Reedlands Road and Derwent Valley)
  • Develop a housing company to provide the right homes in the right places at the right price
  • Utilise the Allerdale Investment Partnership, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Britain’s Energy Coast to stimulate growth
  • Work with partners on key economic sites and opportunities

What are we planning to do?

We will invest in commercial opportunities that support our priorities and bring money into Allerdale and the council, such as our investments at Lillyhall and Reedlands Road in Workington to provide future business accommodation.

We will make the most of all the assets in our control, whether this is identifying ways we can build homes on council land or making the most efficient use of properties and land through our Asset Management Plan. This might mean the council undertaking activity directly or through different vehicles such as the Allerdale Investment Partnership and proposed housing company.

Through our Regeneration and Investment Programme we plan to deliver ambitious projects such as the new community sports village and Lower Derwent Valley scheme in Workington, and aim to progress key economic sites such as the Port of Workington and Derwent Forest with partners over the lifetime of this strategy.

We will continue to use our Local Plan to support sustainable growth and will work with our partners to create the right conditions for growth including activity to improve connectivity and infrastructure across our area. This means road and rail infrastructure but also broadband and business accommodation. We will look for opportunities to create and improve business accommodation so that there are quality places for enterprise and business to thrive. One example would be through the development of ‘easy in, easy out’ incubation spaces.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary  

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030

Why is this a priority?

We know that living in attractive and welcoming places that are clean and green is important to our residents.  We also know that, whilst on the whole Allerdale is a fantastic place to live with a clean, green and safe environment, in a few places our residents don’t feel that their living environment is as good as it should be.

We recognise the significant climate issues facing us all at present and as a council we have the power to change the way we operate to reduce our carbon emissions and improve biodiversity, as well as influencing local activities and behaviours through our policies.

Our objectives:

  • Make sure our neighbourhoods are clean and tidy
  • Reduce waste and increase recycling
  • Improve and protect our open spaces and green infrastructure
  • Ensure environmental sustainability is at the heart of our policies
  • Use our assets to encourage green technology

What are we planning to do?

We will focus on improving the cleanliness of our streets and public places where residents have told us improvements are required, taking enforcement action where we need to tackle environmental crime such as fly tipping.

We will make sure that we provide the high quality refuse and recycling service that we know our residents value and will continue our efforts to increase recycling rates. 

We will continue to carry out proactive and enforcement work to protect and enhance our built and natural surroundings, whether that is dealing with eyesore properties in our towns or enhancing our high quality natural environment.

We will consider environmental sustainability when developing new approaches as well as exploring ways that we can use green technology in our own operations to address climate change. Research is currently being undertaken by the council to consider the specific approach that we can take to address climate change as an organisation in terms of our service delivery and buildings operations and how we can support action to address climate change through our policies, influencing and leadership approaches.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary  

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030

Why is this a priority?

We want everyone to have the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life, regardless of where they live in the district. Whilst on the whole Allerdale is a safe place to live, some of our communities have told us that they are experiencing increasing issues with anti-social behaviour.

We have clear inequalities between communities within the district with some small areas experiencing considerable issues of poverty and inequality, particularly in our west coast towns. We also recognise that rural living can present significant challenges for low income families.  

Like many other areas of the UK one of our key health concerns is obesity and in Allerdale we are seeing a particularly worrying rising obesity trend amongst our younger children.

Our objectives:

  • Promote healthy, active lifestyles
  • Address community safety issues
  • Engage with our communities and our town and parish councils
  • Prevent and reduce homelessness
  • Address inequalities

What are we planning to do?

Encouraging healthy, active lifestyles to combat inactivity and help to reduce obesity levels will be a focus for us over the course of this strategy, with a particular emphasis on children and young people, older people and others at risk of inactivity such as those on lower incomes.   

We will continue to work with key partners such as the Police through the West Cumbria Community Safety Partnership and the Allerdale Local Focus Hub to address community safety issues and concerns so people can enjoy their homes and neighbourhoods.

We will make sure that we effectively deliver our range of functions to keep people safe and well including:

  • monitoring food safety, air and water quality
  • licensing
  • using our powers to make Public Space Protection Orders.

We will continue to help to prevent homelessness, as well as supporting those who are already homeless.

We will continue our work with partners to address poverty, both in terms of helping those in urgent need through activity such as supporting foodbanks and food initiatives and working on activity to help people longer term by improving job opportunities, skills and resilience.

We need to maintain our awareness of local needs by talking to parish and town councils and community groups and explore new ways to deliver services with them. We also recognise how important it is to provide advice and assistance to local community groups run by local people with commitment and passion.

Council Strategy 2020-2030 summary  

The full Council Strategy 2020-2030

This Council Strategy is a high level document setting out what we will focus on over the next 10 years and why. 

This strategy will inform the development of more detailed programmes and plans and allocations of staff and money.

We will develop a four year delivery plan which will set out how we will work towards the priorities set out in this strategy. The delivery plan will set out the key activities we will undertake along with more detailed performance measures that we will use to assess our progress.

The delivery plan will be refreshed annually and the council strategy will be reviewed every two years.

We believe in the importance of being open and transparent in all that we do, providing the public with the information that they need to decide if we are performing well and responding to their needs. We will regularly report on progress through our Executive and make these reports available on our website. Alongside this, we monitor our financial and service performance on a monthly basis.

If you have any questions about the strategy, email

Council Strategy design

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