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Leader welcomes local government reorganisation announcement

Andrew Gilbert

Andrew Gilbert

Posted on 21 July 2021

The Leader of Allerdale Borough Council has reacted to the government’s announcement on local government reorganisation in Cumbria.  

The government has been considering four proposals for reform. These were: 

Barrow, South Lakeland and Lancaster jointly submitted a proposal for two unitary councils: 'The Bay' comprising the area covered by Barrow Borough, South Lakeland District and Lancaster City Councils and ‘North Cumbria’, comprising the area covered by Allerdale Borough, Carlisle City, Copeland Borough and Eden District Councils. 

Allerdale and Copeland jointly submitted a proposal for two unitary councils: ‘West Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Allerdale Borough, Carlisle City and Copeland Borough Councils and ‘East Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District Councils. 

Carlisle and Eden jointly submitted a proposal for two unitary councils: ‘North Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Allerdale Borough, Carlisle City and Eden District Councils and ‘South Cumbria’ comprising the area covered by Barrow Borough, Copeland Borough and South Lakeland District Councils.

Cumbria County Council submitted a proposal for a single unitary council covering the county area of Cumbria County ‘One Cumbria’. 

It was announced today that the government intends to progress with an east/west split for two unitary authorities.

Cllr Mike Johnson, Leader of the Council, said: 

“I’m really pleased to see that the government has been fully convinced by our arguments and felt our proposal - for an east/west split – was selected as the one to go forward with. I thought our proposal was a strong one and right for the future of Cumbria and clearly the government agrees with us. 

Our proposal means that we’ll have councils that can realise the benefits of being a unitary authority whilst also remaining close to the communities they serve. Our model also included proposals for a combined mayoral authority which I will be pushing to establish, as it would be key to unlocking government funding and investment into Cumbria.   

There has been an awful lot of work put in to get us this far, and I’d like to thank everyone involved including all the staff, fellow councillors, partners, residents, our consultant team, and local business owners. During my time as Leader I have built closer relations with colleagues at Copeland council who we worked with on this bid. So I’d also like to thank them. 

I now look forward to working with colleagues in the other authorities and the government to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible without any major noticeable impact on services. 

The six districts and County Council have achieved some great things since 1974 when the last reorganisation happened. However, that structure no longer works as effectively as it should and we now have a real opportunity to improve the sustainability of local government in Cumbria, improve services for all of our communities, as well as hopefully benefit from the investment that a combined mayoral authority, if it comes about, can bring. 

This really is an exciting time for Allerdale's communities and for Cumbria as a whole.” 


Full details of the proposal put forward by Allerdale and Copeland councils can be found on our website .