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Here you will find all of the latest news and developments from LGR:

Press releases

The inaugural meeting of the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council took place this morning at the Civic Centre in Carlisle.

The council will act as a Shadow Authority for the next 11 months as it oversees the planning and preparation for the new authority.

On April 1, 2023 - Vesting Day - the new council will officially take over responsibility for all services and the existing councils in Cumbria will be dissolved.

Until Vesting Day the existing councils will continue to operate and deliver all current services.

Cumberland Council will cover the area currently served by Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

It has 46 councillors representing 46 wards.

At the meeting, the following people were appointed:

  • Leader - Cllr Mark Fryer.
  • Deputy Leaders - Cllr Lisa Brown (Statutory) and Cllr Emma Williamson (Non-Statutory).

Cllr Mark Fryer has twice been a councillor for Allerdale Borough Council. The first time was between 1995 and 2003 and then for a further eight years between 2011 and 2019. He has been both Leader and Deputy Leader on the council. On 5 May 2022, he was elected to the Cumberland Council seat of St John's and Great Clifton ward in Workington.

Cllr Lisa Brown is currently a Carlisle City Councillor. She was first elected on to the City Council in September 2018 and has represented Denton Holme and Morton South ward since May 2019. She was elected to Cumberland Council's Currock ward in the recent local elections.

Since 2017 Cllr Emma Williamson has been a Cumbria County Council councillor for Kells and Sandwith ward and was elected to represent the same ward in the recent Cumberland Council elections. 

Speaking on his appointment, Cllr Fryer, said: "It's a real honour to be Leader of the new Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council and to get the opportunity to create a fantastic new council, which will build upon the work done by the district and county councils over the years, and make improvements for the better.

"The next 10 months or so will be about setting our priorities and establishing the new authority so that it can provide the best set of services for our communities to ensure all our residents will be getting the help and support they need from 1 April 2023.

"Today has also been about creating my Shadow Executive. This is a great team that I have with me, and we'll work hard to make sure we can hit the ground running from day one. This is an opportunity to reset. From April next year there will be no more Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Cumbria county councils.

"Our focus is the people of Cumberland. We must do things differently. If you do what you've always done you will get what you've always got." 

The Shadow Executive is:

  • Cllr Mark Fryer - Strategic overview, external relations, economy & regeneration and community devolution.
  • Cllr Lisa Brown - Corporate Governance and Legal.
  • Cllr Emma Williamson - Children's and Families.
  • Cllr Elaine Lynch - Education, skills and training.
  • Cllr Denise Rollo - Environment, waste and highways.
  • Cllr Bob Kelly - Corporate Plan, strategy, policy and performance. 
  • Cllr Chris Southward - Organisational Development, HR, ICT, digital and customer.
  • Cllr Barbara Cannon - Corporate finance and assets.
  • Cllr Martin Harris - Adults'.
  • Cllr Anne Quilter - Community services including leisure, parks, museums and libraries.

A Chair (Cllr Carni McCarron-Holmes) and Vice Chair (Cllr Abdul Harid) for the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council meetings were also appointed.

A number of appointments to interim statutory officer roles for the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council were also confirmed:

  • Interim Head of Paid Service - Andrew Seekings.
  • Interim Monitoring Officer - Catherine Parkinson.
  • Interim Chief Finance Officer - Pam Duke.

The full agenda and committee papers are available at www.cumberland.gov.uk

The Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council meets this afternoon at 2.30pm. A link to their committee papers is available at www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk


The first meeting of the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council met this afternoon at County Hall, Kendal.

At the meeting, the following were appointed:

  • Leader - Councillor Jonathan Brook.
  • Deputy Leader - Councillor Pat Bell.

The Shadow Authority Cabinet is:

  • Councillor Jonathan Brook - Leader, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Partnerships and Economy.
  • Councillor Patricia Bell - Deputy Leader, Portfolio Holder for Adults, Health and Care.
  • Councillor Sue Sanderson - Portfolio Holder for Children's Services, Education and Skills.
  • Councillor Andrew Jarvis - Portfolio Holder for Finance.
  • Councillor Peter Thornton - Portfolio Holder for Highways and Assets.
  • Councillor Virginia Taylor - Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Communities and Localities.
  • Councillor Giles Archibald - Portfolio Holder for Climate and Biodiversity.
  • Councillor Dyan Jones - Portfolio Holder for Customer and Environmental Services.
  • Councillor Judith Derbyshire - Portfolio Holder for Housing and Homelessness.
  • Councillor Neil Hughes - Portfolio Holder for Transport.

The Chair of the new council is Councillor Matthew Severn with Councillor Ali Jama as Deputy Chair.

A number of appointments to interim statutory officer roles for the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness were also confirmed:

  • Interim Head of Paid Service - Sam Plum.
  • Interim Monitoring Officer - Linda Fisher.
  • Interim Chief Finance Officer - Helen Smith.

The full agenda and committee papers are available at www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk


THE elected members of two new unitary authorities for Cumbria are to meet for the first time next week.

The inaugural meetings of the shadow Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council will take place on Tuesday, May 17.

- The Cumberland Council meeting will be held in the Cathedral Room at the Civic Centre in Carlisle at 10.30am.

- The Westmorland and Furness Council meeting will be held at County Hall in Kendal at 2.30pm.

Both councils will act in shadow form for the next 12 months as they oversee the planning and preparation for the new authorities.

Then, on April 1, 2023 - Vesting Day - the new councils will officially take over responsibility for all services within their respective areas and the seven existing councils in Cumbria will be dissolved. Until Vesting Day the existing councils - six districts and Cumbria County Council - will continue to operate and deliver all current services.

Cumberland Council will cover the area currently served by Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

It has 46 councillors representing 46 wards.

Westmorland and Furness Council will cover the area currently served by South Lakeland District Council, Eden District Council, Barrow Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

It has 65 councillors representing 33 wards.

The meetings will see members elect a chair and vice chair to each shadow authority for the next 12 months, as well as a leader, deputy leader and members of a shadow executive committee.

 

A number of proposed appointments to interim statutory officer roles will also be confirmed.

 

Other items on the agendas for shadow members to consider include implementation plans that will enable the new councils to operate in a safe and legal way from Day 1 as well as a code of conduct.

 

The creation of two new councils for Cumbria is part of Local Government Reorganisation - the biggest change to the county's council structures since 1974.

 

The first meetings of the shadow authorities follows last week's local elections where members were elected to serve a five year term with the first year on the 'shadow councils'.


Elections were held on Thursday 5 May 2022. These elected councillors for two new unitary authorities. 

Vesting day for the new councils is 1 April 2023. From this day Cumberland Council will provide district and county council services across the current areas of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland. 

Westmorland and Furness Council will provide district and county council services across the current areas of Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland.

  • The new Cumberland Council has 46 councillors. 
  • The new Westmorland and Furness Council has 65 councillors.

They will initially sit on two Shadow Authorities until Vesting day, and then serve on the new councils for a further four-year term.

The elections results are available at:

With less than one week to go until the voter registration deadline for next month's local elections, anyone wanting to vote must make sure they are registered in time. 

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on 14 April. You can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes just five minutes.  

On Thursday 5 May voters will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at a local level. This year residents in the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland areas will be voting to select councillors who will represent them on the new unitary Cumberland Council.  

Electors in some wards will also be voting in some unscheduled local by-elections as well. 

Andrew Seekings Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for Allerdale Borough Council who is acting as the Returning Officer for the Cumberland Council elections, said: 

"With around a week to go, time is running out to make sure you can take part in the local elections. These elections are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and shape the future on the issues that directly affect day-to-day life in what will be the Cumberland Council area. In order to be able to vote, residents must be on the electoral register. So if you're not registered by midnight on 14 April, you won't be able to take part." 

Jason Gooding Carlisle City Council's chief executive is the Electoral Registration Officer for the Carlisle City Council area, with Copeland Borough Council's chief executive Pat Graham the ERO for the Copeland area. 

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said:  

"You can only take part in the May elections if you are registered to vote, and time is running out. It's quick and easy - it takes just five minutes online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.  

"If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you make sure you are correctly registered to vote.  

"If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don't need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with your current local authority's election team at Allerdale, Carlisle or Copeland council."  

Voters have a range of options - they can vote in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. 

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 26 April.  

In the areas currently covered by Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland councils 46 councillors will be elected in new Cumberland wards. The ward boundaries follow those currently in place for seats on Cumbria County Council. 

These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a Cumberland 'Shadow Authority' that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Cumberland Council, which will 'go live' in April 2023. 

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver all current services until Vesting Day for the new authority on 1 April 2023. 

On that date the Shadow Authority and its 46 councillors become the new Cumberland Council and it will take over responsibility for services. At that point the existing county, city, borough and district councils will be dissolved. 

For information on Cumberland Council elections in their area, how to register to vote, how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, and who is standing for election, voters can visit the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council website at www.cumberland.gov.uk.  

There is also more information on registering to vote and the various ways to vote at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter. This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls. 


Candidates standing in the Cumberland Council elections on May 5 have been announced. 

A full list of candidates and the wards they are standing in can be found on the website for the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council

Candidate details can also be found on the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland council websites. 

In the areas currently covered by Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland councils 46 councillors will be elected in new Cumberland wards. The ward boundaries follow those currently in place for seats on Cumbria County Council. 

These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a Cumberland 'Shadow Authority' that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Cumberland Council, which will 'go live' in April 2023. 

In order to vote on 5 May, residents must be on the electoral register. The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Thursday, 14 April 2022. It takes just five minutes to apply online.

People can choose to vote in a number of ways - in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. 

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 26 April. 

Details on how to register to vote and apply for or amend a postal or proxy vote can be found on the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council website: www.cumberland.gov.uk  

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver all current services until Vesting Day for the new authority on 1 April 2023. 

On that date the Shadow Authority and its 46 councillors become the new Cumberland Council and it will take over responsibility for services. At that point the existing county, city, borough and district councils will be dissolved. 


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There's only one year to go until two new councils are established in Cumbria.

From 1 April 2023 local government in Cumbria will change. The current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced by two new unitary authorities.

There will be one new council - Cumberland Council - covering the current area of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland. A second new council - Westmorland and Furness Council - will provide services to those in the current areas of Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland.

Cumberland will have 46 Councillors and Westmorland and Furness will have 65 Councillors.

Elections will be held on Thursday 5 May. 

Notices of Election have been published and anyone intending to stand as a candidate in May's elections is being advised to submit their nomination papers ahead of the deadline of 4pm on Tuesday, 5 April 2022.

In order to vote on 5 May, residents must be on the electoral register. The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Thursday, 14 April 2022. It takes just five minutes to apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

The Notices of Election have been published on two new websites - www.cumberland.gov.uk and www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk

The new websites have been set up for the Shadow Authorities for the two new councils and in addition to providing information on the upcoming elections also provide information on the Joint Committees. These have been set up before the Shadow Authorities are established and will only meet for a short period until the elections.

The Joint Committee will make recommendations to the Shadow Authorities on some of the important early decisions, such as the appointment of interim statutory officers and a new council constitution.

They met for the first time this week. The Westmorland and Furness Committee met on Tuesday 29 March in Kendal and the Cumberland Joint Committee met on Wednesday 30 March in Carlisle. Visit www.cumberland.gov.uk and www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk for information on future committee meetings.

For more information on the changes to local government in Cumbria, visit https://newcouncilsforcumbria.info/

The website includes lots of useful information including a video explaining the changes that will happen next April.

Anyone intending to stand as a candidate in May's elections is being advised to submit their nomination papers ahead of the deadline of 4pm on Tuesday, 5 April 2022.

Notices of Election for the Westmorland and Furness Council election and scheduled parish and town council elections have been published today (28 March).

This means that nomination papers can now be submitted by anyone wishing to stand for election on 5 May.

Nomination packs for the new wards for Westmorland and Furness Council are available from local election teams at Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils, as well as political party agents and relevant parish/town council clerks.

Packs have been given out to prospective candidates who have already expressed an interest in standing for election and were distributed at a prospective candidates' and agents briefing on 2 March.

As the time allowed for submission of these papers is short, if anyone wishes to stand as a candidate they are being strongly advised to complete and submit their nomination papers as soon as possible.

A new website has also been launched today (28 March) for the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council.

The new website can be found at: www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk

The new website includes an interactive map showing all the new wards in the new authority, as well as details about the Notice of Election for the new Westmorland and Furness Council, how to stand as a candidate and information about the Shadow Authority and Joint Committee arrangements.

In order to vote on 5 May, residents must be on the electoral register. The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Thursday, 14 April. 

It takes just five minutes to apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

People can choose to vote in a number of ways - in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 26 April. 

For information on registering to vote, or how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter

This year residents will be voting to elect councillors to the new Westmorland and Furness Council, as well as electing councillors to some parish and town councils in areas where there is a vacancy.

In the areas currently covered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils 65 councillors will be elected in new Westmorland and Furness wards. 

These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a Westmorland and Furness 'Shadow Authority' that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Westmorland and Furness Council, which will 'go live' in April 2023.

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver all current services until Vesting Day for the new authority on 1 April 2023. 

On that date the Shadow Authority and its 65 councillors become the new Westmorland and Furness Council and it will take over responsibility for services. At that point the existing county, borough and district councils will be dissolved. 


On Thursday 5 May people in the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland areas will have their say on who represents them on the new Westmorland and Furness Council.

In order to vote in May, residents must be on the electoral register. With the deadline to register to vote fast approaching, the Returning Officer for Westmorland and Furness Council is urging people who are not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Thursday, 14 April. 

It takes just five minutes to apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

This year residents will be voting to elect councillors to the new Westmorland and Furness Council, as well as electing councillors to some parish and town councils in areas where there is a vacancy.

In the areas currently covered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils 65 councillors will be elected in new Westmorland and Furness wards. 

These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a Westmorland and Furness 'Shadow Authority' that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Westmorland and Furness Council, which will 'go live' in April 2023.

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver all current services until Vesting Day for the new authority on 1 April 2023. 

On that date the Shadow Authority and its 65 councillors become the new Westmorland and Furness Council and it will take over responsibility for services. At that point the existing county, borough and district councils will be dissolved. 

Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, is the Returning Officer for the Westmorland and Furness Council elections. She said: "Time is running out to make sure you can take part in these elections. 

"They are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you and who will influence the way the future of local services is shaped in the new Westmorland and Furness Council.

"If you're not registered by 14 April, you won't be able to vote."

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: "You can't have your say in these elections unless you are registered to vote. Registering is easy and only takes five minutes.

"If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important to make sure you are correctly registered to vote. 

"If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don't need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with your local authority."

People can choose to vote in a number of ways - in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 26 April. 

For information on elections in your area, how to register to vote, or how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter

This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls. 


On Thursday 5 May people in the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland areas will have their say on who represents them on the new Cumberland Council, as well as on any other local and parish councils where there is a vacancy. 

In order to vote in May, residents must be on the electoral register. With the deadline to register to vote fast approaching, the local councils are urging people who are not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time. 

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Thursday 14 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. This year residents will be voting to select councillors, who represent their local area and residents, and contribute to the development of policies in areas such as transport, social care and housing on the new Cumberland Council as well as any other local councils where there is a vacancy. 

Andrew Seekings Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for  Allerdale Borough Council who is acting as the Returning Officer for the Cumberland Council elections, said: "Time is running out to make sure you can take part in these elections. They are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life in their local area. If you're not registered by 14 April, you won't be able to vote." 

Jason Gooding Carlisle City Council's chief executive is the Electoral Registration Officer for the Carlisle City Council area, with Copeland Borough Council's chief executive Pat Graham acting as the ERO for the Copeland area. 

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: "You can't have your say in these elections unless you are registered to vote. Registering is easy and only takes five minutes. 

"If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important to make sure you are correctly registered to vote. 

"If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don't need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with your local authority." 

People can choose to vote in a number of ways - in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. 

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 26 April.  

For information on elections in their area, how to register to vote, or how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, voters can visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter. This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls.  

For more information contact the Communications and Marketing team at Allerdale Borough Council on corp.comms@allerdale.gov.uk 


Changes to local government in Cumbria took a big step forward this week with the announcement by the government that the parliamentary order which sets out the legal basis of the move had come into force.

The Structural Changes Order (SCO) completed its passage through both houses of Parliament this week and received the ministerial signature yesterday. 

The SCO sets out the process of creating the two new councils and provides the legal basis on which to implement the change to local government structures.

From vesting day on 1 April 2023 the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced with two new 'unitary' councils. The names for the two new councils are:

  • Cumberland Council which will cover the current Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland council areas.
  • Westmorland and Furness Council which will cover the current Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland council areas.

The two new councils will be responsible for services currently provided in those areas by the district councils and the county council.

Elections for the new authorities will be held on 5 May 2022. After the elections two Shadow Authorities will be formed who will make decisions on the creation of the two new councils up to vesting day. 

A spokesperson for the Cumbria Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Programme Board, said: "This is a major development in our programme which confirms the details of the LGR process and puts it into law.

"Whilst today's news is very important, work on reorganisation is already very much underway with teams of officers and councillors from all of Cumbria's current councils working together on what is perhaps the most significant development in local government in Cumbria for a generation.

"This reorganisation of local government represents a great opportunity to re-think how services are delivered, looking at how they can be better joined-up and with the flexibility and efficiency to provide better outcomes for our communities."

More information on the process and what it means for the people of Cumbria can be found on the LGR website: https://newcouncilsforcumbria.info/default.asp

The SCO requires that two joint committees are established ahead of the formation of the Shadow Authorities. The Westmorland and Furness joint committee is due to hold its first meeting on 29 March. The Cumberland Joint Committee is due to meet on 30 March. 

More details of the meetings can be found at: https://newcouncilsforcumbria.info/Joint_Committees.asp

Residents who wish to vote in the upcoming elections in May, and who are not registered to vote are encouraged to register as soon as possible at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 

We have been advised that the Structural Changes Order has now been laid in Parliament. This is a key step towards the delivery of two new councils for Cumbria.

The Structural Changes Order sets out the process of creating the two new councils and provides the legal basis on which to implement the change to local government structures.

Now it has been 'laid' this means it will go through parliamentary processes and it is expected that the Order will be approved no later than the end of March 2022.

The Cumbria (Structural Changes) Order 2022 

A new website has been launched to explain more about a major reorganisation of local government in Cumbria.

The website - newcouncilsforcumbria.info - has lots of useful information about the complex process to create two brand new councils for the county.

From 1 April 2023 the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced with two new 'unitary' councils. The intended names for the two new councils are:

  • Cumberland Council will cover the current Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland council areas.
  • Westmorland and Furness Council will cover the current Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland council areas.

The two new councils will be responsible for services currently provided in those areas by the district councils and the county council.

The changes aim to:

  • Improve services for local people, making them more effective and efficient with a greater integration of planning and delivery activities.
  • Provide greater clarity for residents on their democratic representation, making local authorities even more accountable to the people they serve with more effective governance arrangements.
  • Provide a stronger voice to central government.
  • Attract inward investment into our communities.

Since the UK Government announced its decision in July to reorganise local government in Cumbria, work has been ongoing on the first steps of this huge transition.

All seven existing local authorities, supported by the Government, are collaborating on the programme to create the new Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness authorities. 

This entails a considerable amount of work to ensure that people in Cumbria receive the high level of service and delivery they expect and deserve. 

The new website explains the process and the timeline and will include updates on the work of the Local Government Reorganisation Programme.

A spokesperson for the Cumbria Local Government Reorganisation Programme Board, said: "We know there is a great deal of interest in the reorganisation process, among residents, businesses and organisations.

"This is a hugely complex undertaking and will affect everyone who lives, works, does business or studies in Cumbria. It is the most significant change to the structures of local government in this area for a generation. 

"The programme will involve officers and councillors from all seven existing councils and we are determined to create the right platform for the new Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness councils to thrive.

"All those involved in leading this project are committed to ensuring that local people are engaged in this process as we move towards April 2023 and the new website will be an integral part of that.'' 

Cumbria's councils have now received the draft Structural Changes Order from Government which provides some additional detail about the two new councils.

In the document, the Government has confirmed its intention to name the two new councils.

  • For the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland areas the council's name will be Cumberland Council.
  • For the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland areas the council's name will be Westmorland and Furness Council.

Other details shared in the draft SCO include:

The number of councillors each council will potentially have:

  • Cumberland Council will have 46 members.
  • Westmorland and Furness Council will have 65 members.

Elections for the two new councils, as Shadow Authorities, will take place in May 2022 and then in 2027 and every four years thereafter.

Joint Committees (one for Cumberland and one for Westmorland and Furness) will be established and each one will have 12 members - three from Cumbria County Council, three from each of the district councils in that area. So, in total 12 members each.

Joint Committees are responsible for the preparatory work to establish the Shadow Authorities and overseeing the implementation planning until Shadow Authorities are elected. The Joint Committees will be dissolved once the Shadow Authorities and Executives for the two new councils are established.

A Shadow Authority is an 'authority' which is appointed or elected to shape the two new councils ready for vesting on 1 April 2023. When the new councils go live on 1 April 2023 the Shadow Authorities are also then dissolved.

All of the information laid out in the draft SCO is still subject to Parliamentary approval which is likely to take place in March.

Finally, the programme management process will continue as it is - a single programme management board to oversee the implementation of the two new councils.

Town and Parish Council Newsletters
Town and Parish Council Newsletters

Welcome to your first Town and Parish Council Newsletter

The Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Programme Board is working to create two new unitary authorities for Cumbria and is committed to keeping you informed.

Edition 1: December 2021

In today's bulletin: 

  • Keeping you updated on Cumbria's LGR Programme
  • Invitation to Town and Parish Councillors
  • Our journey to two new unitary authorities
  • Delivering two new councils - with your help
  • Structural Changes Order (SCO)
  • LGR Branding
  • New LGR website
  • Useful LGR Documents


Keeping you updated on Cumbria's LGR Programme

The Programme Board is working collaboratively on all aspects of this major change for local government and we want to ensure that you and all our partners know how we are progressing towards the launch of the two new authorities on 1 April 2023. From that date, two new unitary authorities will be responsible for delivering all council services for residents, businesses and organisations across Cumbria.

It's a big change! So we want to ensure that you are well informed, engaged in the process and that you have the chance to talk to us and ask questions about the road ahead.

Who is on the LGR Programme Board?

The LGR Programme Board is made up of the below Chief Executives from each of Cumbria's seven local authorities: 

Allerdale Borough Council - Andrew Seekings 

Barrow Borough Council - Sam Plum

Carlisle City Council - Jason Gooding 

Copeland Borough Council - Pat Graham

Cumbria County Council - John Readman (Acting Chief Executive)

Eden District Council - Ian Frost

South Lakeland District Council - Lawrence Conway


Senior Responsible Officer (SRO)

Gill Steward left her post as Cumbria County Council Chief Executive at the end of November. Gill was also SRO for the transition.

The leadership of the programme will be split three ways moving forward, with Allerdale's Chief Executive Andrew Seekings representing the 'west' authorities making up the new Cumberland Council and Barrow Chief Executive Sam Plum representing the 'east' authorities making up the Westmorland and Furness Council, with Acting Chief Executive John Readman representing Cumbria County Council. These arrangements will be reviewed again in the new year.

 


Invitation to Town and Parish Councillors

LGR Meeting - 2 December 2021

Town and Parish Councillors are invited to join a virtual meeting on Thursday 2 December from 7pm.

The meeting will be hosted by Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, and Lawrence Conway, Chief Executive of South Lakeland District Council, who will provide you with the latest news from the Programme Board, the journey to two unitary authorities and how it may impact Town and Parish councils.

It is a great opportunity to not only hear directly from members of the Programme Board but also to put your questions forward to both Sam and Lawrence.

 


Our journey to two new unitary authorities

Green speech bubble with wording which reads 'our journey' 

All seven local authorities, supported by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, are collaborating on the complex operation to create the two new authorities.

This entails a considerable amount of work to ensure that people in Cumbria receive the high level of service and delivery they expect and deserve.

The LGR Programme Board, supported by a Programme Director and Programme Management Office, is now leading the reshaping and transition work. This includes high-level scoping of the required work to ensure all the many areas of service each council is responsible for is delivered well from day one.

 


Themes and workstreams

Themes and workstreams have been created to support the Programme Board and ensure that every area of each council's services and responsibilities is taken into consideration during the complex move from seven authorities to two.

The design of the Programme now includes three theme workstreams which are: People, Place and Enabling services and these are supported by eight additional workstream. These are Finance; Legal and Democratic; IT; Customer and Digital; Organisational Development and HR; Assets; Strategic Commissioning and Procurement and Communications and Engagement.

Wherever possible our aim is to utilise the expertise and knowledge of all staff across the seven councils and all our partners so that, collectively, we are building the house we are going to live in together.

Oversight on the progress and direction of the Programme is provided by the Cumbria Leaders Oversight Panel, made up of the leaders of the county's seven local authorities.

 


LGR Timeline

The below LGR timeline graphic has been created to highlight our journey to the two new unitary authorities:

You can view the LGR timeline in a larger format online. 

 


Delivering two new councils - with your help

We need your help

The Programme Board has developed an agreed set of principles for work on the transition and more than 100 staff across the seven authorities are already at work.

All those involved, no matter which authority currently employs them, are working as part of one team on one programme. That programme, though, will evolve into two branches to reflect the two new authorities.

They will deliver the best for all, remaining conscious of what is best for the communities of Cumbria and the different needs and opportunities of the two new councils.

Co-design is one of the overarching principles of the transition programme. We want stakeholders, our communities and our staff to be involved in the creation of two new councils for Cumbria.

To this end it is important we maintain regular communication and engagement with Town and Parish councils.


How could you help?

We want Town and Parish councils to help shape the two new councils and establish a new relationship between this sector and the two new authorities.

It is still very early in the process and it is likely that the majority of co-production work will take place after the draft Structural Changes Order (SCO) has been agreed in March 2022. The key focus of work over the coming months is to ensure that the two new councils are safe and legal for Vesting Day (1 April 2023).

 


Structural Changes Order (SCO)

The Government has confirmed its intended names for the two new councils.

For the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland areas the council's name will be Cumberland Council. For the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland areas the council's name will be Westmorland and Furness Council.

The names were contained in a draft SCO - a key document that sets out the legislation that will formally establish the new councils.

Councils were able to contribute ideas and preferences on things like the names of the new authorities, the number of wards and councillors and the election cycle for the draft SCO, although there was no formal consultation.

The draft SCO was received from Government at the start of November. It also included the following information:

Cumberland Council will potentially have 46 members and Westmorland and Furness Council 65 members.

Elections for the two new councils, as Shadow Authorities, will take place in May 2022 and then in 2027 and every four years thereafter.

Joint Committees (one for Cumberland and one for Westmorland and Furness) will be established and each one will have 12 members - three from Cumbria County Council, three from each of the district councils in that area. So, in total 12 members each.

Joint Committees are responsible for the preparatory work to establish the Shadow Authorities and overseeing the implementation planning until Shadow Authorities are elected. The Joint Committees will be dissolved once the Shadow Authorities and Executives for the two new councils are established. A shadow authority is appointed or elected to shape the two new councils ready for vesting on 1 April 2023, the date the new councils 'go live'. At this point the shadow authorities are also dissolved.

All councils have had opportunity to feed back on the draft SCO and it is expected to be formally agreed by Parliament by March 2022 at the latest.

 


LGR Branding

The Programme Board felt it was important the work on LGR has a consistent identity which differed from that of each individual council. One of the internal graphic designers came up with this simple logo. This will be used in all communications on the LGR Programme.

 


New LGR website

We've launched an LGR website which provides a wealth of information, such as information on the background to LGR as well as the overall aims and ambitions of the changes. There is also a timeline of events, a glossary to help residents, businesses and our partners understand the process as well as some of the terminology.


Useful LGR Documents

Here are some useful links to important documents which you may find useful:

The successful bid document

The Secretary of State's announcement

Next edition

Keep an eye out for the next edition which will be published in January 2022.

Welcome to February's Town and Parish Council Newsletter

The seven authorities working together to create two new unitary councils for Cumbria are committed to keeping Town and Parish Councils informed on progress.

Edition 2: February 2022

________________________________________

In today's bulletin: 

• Background

• Timeline

• Since December's newsletter - what's happened?

• Next milestones

• LGR Programme Director 

• LGR updates 

• Video of Town and Parish Council LGR meeting

• Video: What is LGR?


Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) represents a huge opportunity to re-think how services are delivered for people and also entails a considerable amount of work to ensure that people in Cumbria receive the high level of service and delivery they expect and deserve.

Cumbria County Council and the six district authorities - Allerdale, Barrow, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland - are collaboratively working on the transition to two new unitary authorities on 1 April, 2023.

From that date, the new Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness councils will deliver services for residents, businesses and organisations across Cumbria.

Themes and workstreams have been created to support the LGR Programme Board (made up of the seven councils' Chief Executives) and ensure every area of each council's services and responsibilities is taken into consideration during the complex transition from seven authorities to two.

There are three themes - People, Place and Enabling Services - and eight workstreams: Finance, Legal and Democratic, IT, Customer and Digital, Organisational Development and Human Resources, Assets, Strategic Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management, and Communications and Engagement. The Data and Intelligence Hub leads on managing the data needed to assist the transition.

The transition programme will facilitate the development of two very different blueprints and the creation of two distinct councils focused on the specific communities they will serve.


Timeline

A programme timeline is in place with key milestones set by the Government. This includes:

  • The laying before Parliament of a Structural Changes Order (SCO). This happened on January 24 and we expect it will come into effect in March. This is the legislation that will give authority for the abolition of the seven existing authorities and the establishment of two new unitary authorities.

<<Take a look at the SCO which is now a public document>>

  • The creation of Joint Committees in March 2022.
  • Elections to Shadow Authorities in May 2022.
  • Vesting Day - when the new councils become operational on 1 April 2023.
  • Continuing transformation beyond this point.

Since December's newsletter - what's happened?

The short answer is, a lot of work behind the scenes, with activity on the programme accelerating.

We have moved from Phase 1, Preparation and Mobilisation into Phase 2, Design. (Phase 3 is Implementation and Phase 4, Post Transition).

In the Design phase, key information on how services are currently delivered is being analysed and options on future delivery are beginning to take shape.

As we move into March and April, those options will be further developed and appraised leading to a blueprint on how the two new authorities will operate services.

Please take a look at the design phase timeline below:

<<View the design phase timeline>>

The programme is creating two new unitary authorities with their own services. Other options may be considered if there is a strong financial or other case.

This diagram below explains the options for future delivery of services:

<<View a larger version of the future delivery of services diagram>>

Oversight on the progress and direction of the programme is provided by the Cumbria Leaders Oversight Panel, made up of the leaders of the county's seven local authorities.


Next milestones


Joint Committees

Within 14 days of the Structural Changes Order (SCO) coming into effect, Joint Committees have to be established, one for each of the new councils.

These bodies, which will only exist for the short period until the elections in May, are responsible for making recommendations to the Shadow Authorities that will be established after those elections.

They will have responsibility for the high level LGR implementation plan until the Shadow Authorities are set up. They will make important recommendations such as the designation of interim statutory officers for the new authorities, that is, the Head of Paid Service, the Chief Finance Officer and the Monitoring Officer.

They will also recommend a new council constitution, code of conduct and members' allowances.

Each joint committee will be made up of 12 councillors. Three from the county council and three from the current district councils that make up the new unitary council.

Cumberland = 3x Allerdale, 3x Carlisle, 3x Copeland, 3x Cumbria

Westmorland and Furness = 3x Barrow, 3x Eden, 3x South Lakeland, 3x Cumbria

There will be a chair of each committee but the chair does not have a casting vote, so it is one member, one vote with equal status for all.

Elections

Elections to the new shadow authorities of Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness will be held on 5 May. A notice of election will be published by 28 March.

Voters will be electing single representatives for 46 wards in Cumberland, based on the previous county boundaries. In Westmorland and Furness, there will be 33 wards with 65 councillors, with more highly populated wards having two or three representatives.

Although these Shadow Authorities will not take over the running of services until Vesting Day, 1 April, 2023, those elected will serve a five year term and so will be the first elected representatives making decisions for the new authorities. The next elections are planned to be in 2027.

The returning officers - responsible for the conduct of the 2022 elections - are, for Westmorland and Furness, Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, and for Cumberland, Andrew Seekings, Chief Executive of Allerdale Borough Council.

Shadow Authorities

The new Shadow Authorities must meet for the first time within 14 days of the election.

At that first meeting they have important business to conclude, such as adopting a constitution and code of conduct, appointing a cabinet and leader, electing a council chair and deciding on members' allowances. They will also designate interim officers to the three statutory positions from serving officers at the current seven Cumbrian authorities.

From there, the Shadow Authorities will plan and prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by Cumbria's county, borough, city and district councils from 1 April, 2023.

While they will not control services until next year, there will be regular meetings and further developments within the authorities to ensure the continuity of the delivery of public services from that time.

The Joint Committees will be dissolved after the first meeting of the Shadow Authorities.


LGR Programme Director 

Kim Rennie joined as Cumbria's LGR Programme Director at the start of the year to lead on the work to create two new unitary authorities for the county.

Kim has extensive leadership experience delivering improvement and change programmes within local government. She has served as Chief Executive with West Lancashire Borough Council, held senior roles, including at Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, and also worked at Rochdale Metropolitan Borough and Manchester City Councils.

On her first impressions of local government in the county, she said:

"It's a great team in Cumbria with real commitment to working as one team, which is so important in this programme.

"It's clear there are some really good services, but a real willingness to see how they can be improved further in the future. It's also clear that people are very busy; the willingness to go that extra mile is very evident.

"The other thing that comes across strongly is the approach, which sees a good balance between transition and transformation. It's important we get things right on Day One. A lot of the emphasis will be on transition, making sure services operate smoothly from the start, with opportunity for further transformation and improvement. I think that is the right emphasis given there is so much to do and councils need to operate safely and legally on 1 April 2023."

On stakeholders, including Town and Parish Councils, Kim added:

"There is real commitment to keeping our partners informed and appropriately engaged, including through newsletters and events and existing partnerships where we can provide updates.

"We want to engage people at the appropriate time, including in terms of our service design where appropriate. One of the key areas is around existing partner arrangements and how we might manage those going forward.

"Inevitably a lot of the focus right now is internally, because a lot is about how we transition and keep services safe and legal, but I do want to reassure stakeholders they will be engaged in discussion at the appropriate time."


LGR updates 

  • KPMG have been appointed as Strategic Partner to support the work of the LGR Programme Board. The contract, awarded following a competitive tender exercise, began on 24 January 2022 and ends 30 September 2023. KPMG will provide consultancy support to the various themes and workstreams, as well as supporting the wider role of the LGR Programme Board.
  • Cumbria County Council is proceeding with the next step in seeking a Judicial Review of the Government's decision to create two new unitary authorities in Cumbria.

Video of Town and Parish Council LGR meeting

In December, Town and Parish councillors heard direct from those leading the work on the huge transition programme.

Two members of Cumbria's LGR Programme Board, Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, and Lawrence Conway, Chief Executive of South Lakeland District Council, addressed a meeting organised for members of CALC.

Attendees were also able to quiz Sam and Lawrence on progress to date and the early thoughts on what the future may look like for Town and Parish councils.

<<Watch the CALC LGR meeting>>


Video: What is LGR?

<<Learn all about LGR by watching our 'What is LGR?' video online>>

Recap

This week sees an important landmark for local government reorganisation in Cumbria with the first elections to the two new unitary authorities which will run services from 2023.

Voters in the new authority areas of Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness go to the polls on Thursday to elect councillors to represent them. Those councillors will form the Shadow Authorities that will make decisions on how the new authorities are to operate from April 1, 2023, and then serve on the new councils for four years.

On that day the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced. Cumberland Council will cover the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland council areas. Westmorland and Furness Council will cover the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland council areas.

An LGR Programme Board, covering the seven existing authorities, is leading the work to establish the two new unitary authorities.


What's happened since February's newsletter?

The Structural Changes Order (SCO) completed its passage through both houses of Parliament and received the Ministerial signature. The SCO sets out the process of creating the two new councils and provides the legal basis on which to implement the change to local government structures.

The SCO required two Joint Committees to be set up before the Shadow Authorities are established to make recommendations on some of the important early decisions. The Westmorland and Furness Committee and the Cumberland Joint Committee have now both met twice.

Cllr Jonathan Brook was appointed the Chair of Westmorland and Furness and Cllr Ann Thomson was appointed Vice Chair. For Cumberland, Cllr Stewart Young was appointed the Chair and Cllr Lisa Brown was appointed Vice Chair.

Westmorland and Furness's final meeting is planned for May 10 and Cumberland for May 12.

You can find out more about the Joint Committees online.


Shadow Authorities

New websites have been set up for the Shadow Authorities and provide information on the upcoming elections, including a full list of candidates and wards they are standing in. The websites are www.cumberland.gov.uk and www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk. Results will also be posted here.

65 councillors will be elected in new Westmorland and Furness wards and 46 in Cumberland. These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on the 'Shadow Authority' that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on the new council, which 'go live' on 1 April 2023.

After the elections there will be an induction day for the new councillors on May 9 and the first meetings of both Shadow Authorities will be held on May 17, Cumberland at 10.30am and Westmorland and Furness at 2.30pm.

The Shadow Authorities will adopt a constitution and code of conduct and appoint a Cabinet and Leader. And they will take decisions to prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by Cumbria's county, borough and district councils from 1 April 2023.

The Shadow Authorities will oversee an implementation plan, to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of services for local communities and the setting of a budget for the first year of the new council.

They will also appoint interim and permanent officers to key statutory positions, so that the new council can legally operate.

Interview panels for the interim roles were made up of nominated members of the Joint Committees. Their recommendations will now go to the respective Joint Committees who will be asked to agree them. This will then be put before the relevant Shadow Authorities for final agreement at their first meetings in May.

The nominated appointees are:


Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council

  • Interim Head of Paid Service - Sam Plum, Chief Executive at Barrow Borough Council.
  • Interim Monitoring Officer - Linda Fisher, South Lakeland District Council.
  • Interim Chief Finance Officer - Helen Smith, South Lakeland District Council.


Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council

  • Interim Head of Paid Service - Andrew Seekings, Chief Executive at Allerdale Borough Council.

No Expressions of Interest were received for the roles of Interim Monitoring Officer and Interim Chief Finance Officer for the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council. These roles are being re-advertised internally within the seven councils.


Campaign for voters

Leading up to polling day on 5 May, you've hopefully seen reminders for people in Cumbria to get involved in this year's elections to the two new unitary authorities. There's a county-wide awareness campaign running to remind people to use their vote in the biggest change to local councils in Cumbria since the 1970s.

Elections - Have your say

elections img may22 stkhldr

Image description: Male figure holding a microphone. Image reads 'Elections. Have your say. Vote on the 5th May. The biggest change since 1974 is coming to Cumbria's local councils'.


Programme Reset

During March and April changes were made to simplify and strengthen the programme and clarify the roles of workstreams and themes.

Changes included moving to six themes/boards. These are supported by retained, additional or reshaped workstreams and their technical leads.

The diagram below outlines the areas of responsibility for each theme.

themes dgrm - mayy 22 stkhldr


The workstreams and their representatives from across the seven councils have all undertaken baselining and SWOT analysis to build a complete picture of how services currently operate, their range of functions, their resources and outputs.

Now those workstreams are beginning the work on blueprints for those services within the two authorities. The blueprints will be considered by the Shadow Authorities when they are in place. They will ensure that services operating from April 1, 2023, are safe and legal and decide the direction of further transformation from that date.


LGR updates

The LGR Programme Office is recruiting for a Senior Manager with the deadline for applications midnight on Monday 9 May. Details about LGR vacancies can be found on Cumbria County Council's website.

Confused between your Day 0 and Day 1? There's an updated Glossary of frequently used LGR terms. View the latest LGR glossary of terms.  

After careful consideration, Cumbria County Council decided not to pursue an appeal following a decision by the High Court on Tuesday 22 February to refuse its application for permission to proceed with its Judicial Review into the decision to create two new unitary authorities. That concluded the Judicial Review Application process.


Town and parish council virtual briefing

In March, Town and Parish councillors heard direct from those leading the work on the huge transition programme.

Two members of Cumbria's LGR Programme Board, Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, and Andrew Seekings, Chief Executive of South Lakeland District Council, addressed a meeting organised for members of Cumbria Association of Local Councils.

Attendees were also able to quiz Sam and Andrew on progress to date and the early thoughts on what the future may look like for Town and Parish councils.

Further briefings will be held once the Shadow Authorities are in place.

<<Watch the CALC LGR meeting>>

The LGR presentation which was shared during the meeting can also be viewed online.


Find out more and feedback

We hope that you found the newsletter to be a useful resource. Your views and feedback are very important to us. It would help us greatly to improve the information we provide if you would complete our short feedback form.

<<Complete our short feedback form>>


Have a question for us?

Simply email: info@newcouncilsforcumbria.info

Stakeholder Newsletters

Welcome to your first Stakeholder Newsletter


The Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Programme Board is working to create two new unitary authorities for Cumbria and is committed to keeping stakeholders informed.




Keeping you updated on Cumbria's LGR Programme

The Programme Board is working collaboratively on all aspects of this major change for local government and we want to ensure that you and all our partners know how we are progressing towards the launch of the two new authorities on 1 April 2023. From that date, two new unitary authorities will be responsible for delivering all council services for residents, businesses and organisations across Cumbria.

It's a big change! So we want to ensure you are well informed, engaged in the process and that you have the chance to talk to us and ask questions about the road ahead.


Who is on the LGR Programme Board?

The LGR Programme Board is made up of the below Chief Executives from each of Cumbria's seven local authorities:

Allerdale Borough Council - Andrew Seekings 

Barrow Borough Council - Sam Plum

Carlisle City Council - Jason Gooding 

Copeland Borough Council - Pat Graham

Cumbria County Council - John Readman (Acting Chief Executive)

Eden District Council - Ian Frost

South Lakeland District Council - Lawrence Conway


Senior Responsible Officer (SRO)

Gill Steward left her post as Cumbria County Council Chief Executive at the end of November. Gill was also SRO for the transition.

The programme now has collaborative leadership, with Allerdale's Chief Executive Andrew Seekings representing the 'west' authorities making up the new Cumberland Council and Barrow Chief Executive Sam Plum representing the 'east' authorities making up the Westmorland and Furness Council, with Acting Chief Executive John Readman representing Cumbria County Council. These arrangements will be reviewed again in the new year.


New Programme Director appointed

Experienced senior officer Kim Rennie has been appointed to the key role of Programme Director.

Kim will provide leadership for the Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) programme working to establish two new unitary councils for Cumbria.

Kim has extensive leadership experience delivering improvement and change programmes within local government. She has served as Chief Executive with West Lancashire Borough Council, held senior roles, including at Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, and also worked at Rochdale Metropolitan Borough and Manchester City Councils.

Kim said:

"I am delighted to have been appointed to this new role working with Cumbria to develop the new pattern of local government.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to create sustainable modern, effective and efficient councils to serve Cumbria's communities.

"I look forward to starting this important role and to meeting as many of you as possible in the new year."

Kim has been appointed on a fixed-term basis until May 2023 and will start her new role in early January.




Our journey to two new unitary authorities

All seven local authorities, supported by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, are collaborating on the complex operation to create the two new authorities.

This entails a considerable amount of work to ensure that people in Cumbria receive the high level of service and delivery they expect and deserve.

The LGR Programme Board, supported by a Programme Director and Programme Management Office, is now leading the reshaping and transition work. This includes high-level scoping of the required work to ensure all the many areas of service each council is responsible for is delivered well from day one.


Themes and workstreams

Themes and workstreams have been created to support the Programme Board and ensure that every area of each council's services and responsibilities is taken into consideration during the complex move from seven authorities to two.

The design of the Programme now includes three themes which are: People, Place and Enabling services and these are supported by eight workstreams. These are Finance; Legal and Democratic; IT; Customer and Digital; Organisational Development and HR; Assets; Strategic Commissioning and Procurement and Communications and Engagement.

Wherever possible our aim is to utilise the expertise and knowledge of all staff across the seven councils and all our partners so that, collectively, we are 'building the house we are going to live in'.

Oversight on the progress and direction of the programme is provided by the Cumbria Leaders Oversight Forum, made up of the leaders of the county's seven local authorities.


LGR Timeline

The LGR timeline graphic has been created to highlight our journey to the two new unitary authorities:

You can view the LGR timeline in a larger format online.



Delivering two new councils - with your help


The Programme Board has developed an agreed set of principles for work on the transition and more than 100 staff across the seven authorities are already at work.

All those involved, no matter which authority currently employs them, are working as part of one team on one programme. That programme, though, will evolve into two branches to reflect the two new authorities.

They will deliver the best for all, remaining conscious of what is best for the communities of Cumbria and the different needs and opportunities of the two new councils.

Co-design is one of the overarching principles of the transition programme. We want stakeholders, our communities and our staff to be involved in the creation of two new councils for Cumbria. To this end it is important we maintain regular communication and engagement with all our stakeholders.

How could you help?

We want you to help shape the two new councils and establish a new relationship between stakeholders and the two new authorities.

It is still very early in the process and it is likely that the majority of co-production work will take place after the draft Structural Changes Order (SCO) has been agreed in March 2022. The key focus of work over the coming months is to ensure that the two new councils are safe and legal for Vesting Day (1 April 2023).



Background

Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) represents a huge opportunity to re-think how services are delivered for people and also entails a considerable amount of work to ensure that people in Cumbria receive the high level of service and delivery they expect and deserve.

Cumbria County Council and the six district authorities - Allerdale, Barrow, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland - are collaboratively working on the transition to two new unitary authorities on 1 April, 2023.

From that date, the new Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness councils will deliver services for residents, businesses and organisations across Cumbria.

Themes and workstreams have been created to support the LGR Programme Board (made up of the seven councils' Chief Executives) and ensure every area of each council's services and responsibilities is taken into consideration during the complex transition from seven authorities to two.

There are three themes - People, Place and Enabling Services - and eight workstreams: Finance, Legal and Democratic, IT, Customer and Digital, Organisational Development and Human Resources, Assets, Strategic Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management, and Communications and Engagement. The Data and Intelligence Hub leads on managing the data needed to assist the transition.

The transition programme will facilitate the development of two very different blueprints and the creation of two distinct councils focused on the specific communities they will serve.


Timeline

A programme timeline is in place with key milestones set by the Government. This includes:

  • The laying before Parliament of a Structural Changes Order (SCO). This happened on January 24 and we expect it will come into effect in March. This is the legislation that will give authority for the abolition of the seven existing authorities and the establishment of two new unitary authorities.

<<Take a look at the SCO which is now a public document>>

  • The creation of Joint Committees in March 2022.
  • Elections to Shadow Authorities in May 2022.
  • Vesting Day - when the new councils become operational on 1 April 2023.
  • Continuing transformation beyond this point.

Since December's newsletter - what's happened?

The short answer is, a lot of work behind the scenes, with activity on the programme accelerating.

We have moved from Phase 1, Preparation and Mobilisation into Phase 2, Design. (Phase 3 is Implementation and Phase 4, Post Transition).

In the Design phase, key information on how services are currently delivered is being analysed and options on future delivery are beginning to take shape.

As we move into March and April, those options will be further developed and appraised leading to a blueprint on how the two new authorities will operate services.

<<View the design phase timeline>>


The programme is creating two new unitary authorities with their own services. Other options may be considered if there is a strong financial or other case. 

This diagram below explains the options for future delivery of services:

<<View  the future delivery of services diagram>>

Oversight on the progress and direction of the programme is provided by the Cumbria Leaders Oversight Panel, made up of the leaders of the county's seven local authorities.


Next milestones

Joint Committees

Within 14 days of the Structural Changes Order (SCO) coming into effect, Joint Committees have to be established, one for each of the new councils.

These bodies, which will only exist for the short period until the elections in May, are responsible for making recommendations to the Shadow Authorities that will be established after those elections.

They will have responsibility for the high level LGR implementation plan until the Shadow Authorities are set up. They will make important recommendations such as the designation of interim statutory officers for the new authorities, that is, the Head of Paid Service, the Chief Finance Officer and the Monitoring Officer.

They will also recommend a new council constitution, code of conduct and members' allowances.

Each joint committee will be made up of 12 councillors. Three from the county council and three from the current district councils that make up the new unitary council.

Cumberland = 3x Allerdale, 3x Carlisle, 3x Copeland, 3x Cumbria

Westmorland and Furness = 3x Barrow, 3x Eden, 3x South Lakeland, 3x Cumbria

There will be a chair of each committee but the chair does not have a casting vote, so it is one member, one vote with equal status for all.


Elections

Elections to the new shadow authorities of Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness will be held on 5 May. A notice of election will be published by 28 March.

Voters will be electing single representatives for 46 wards in Cumberland, based on the previous county boundaries. In Westmorland and Furness, there will be 33 wards with 65 councillors, with more highly populated wards having two or three representatives.

Although these Shadow Authorities will not take over the running of services until Vesting Day, 1 April, 2023, those elected will serve a five year term and so will be the first elected representatives making decisions for the new authorities. The next elections are planned to be in 2027.

The returning officers - responsible for the conduct of the 2022 elections - are, for Westmorland and Furness, Sam Plum, Chief Executive of Barrow Borough Council, and for Cumberland, Andrew Seekings, Chief Executive of Allerdale Borough Council.


Shadow Authorities

The new Shadow Authorities must meet for the first time within 14 days of the election.

At that first meeting they have important business to conclude, such as adopting a constitution and code of conduct, appointing a cabinet and leader, electing a council chair and deciding on members' allowances. They will also designate interim officers to the three statutory positions from serving officers at the current seven Cumbrian authorities.

From there, the Shadow Authorities will plan and prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by Cumbria's county, borough, city and district councils from 1 April, 2023.

While they will not control services until next year, there will be regular meetings and further developments within the authorities to ensure the continuity of the delivery of public services from that time.

The Joint Committees will be dissolved after the first meeting of the Shadow Authorities.


LGR Programme Director

Kim Rennie joined as Cumbria's LGR Programme Director at the start of the year to lead on the work to create two new unitary authorities for the county.

Kim has extensive leadership experience delivering improvement and change programmes within local government. She has served as Chief Executive with West Lancashire Borough Council, held senior roles, including at Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, and also worked at Rochdale Metropolitan Borough and Manchester City Councils.

On her first impressions of local government in the county, she said:

"It's a great team in Cumbria with real commitment to working as one team, which is so important in this programme.

"It's clear there are some really good services, but a real willingness to see how they can be improved further in the future. It's also clear that people are very busy; the willingness to go that extra mile is very evident.

"The other thing that comes across strongly is the approach, which sees a good balance between transition and transformation. It's important we get things right on Day One. A lot of the emphasis will be on transition, making sure

services operate smoothly from the start, with opportunity for further transformation and improvement. I think that is the right emphasis given there is so much to do and councils need to operate safely and legally on 1 April 2023."

On stakeholders, including Town and Parish Councils, Kim added:

"There is real commitment to keeping our stakeholders informed and appropriately engaged, including through newsletters and events and existing partnerships where we can provide updates.

"We want to engage people at the appropriate time, including in terms of our service design where appropriate. One of the key areas is around existing partner arrangements and how we might manage those going forward.

"Inevitably a lot of the focus right now is internally, because a lot is about how we transition and keep services safe and legal, but I do want to reassure stakeholders they will be engaged in discussion at the appropriate time."


LGR updates 

  • KPMG have been appointed as Strategic Partner to support the work of the LGR Programme Board. The contract, awarded following a competitive tender exercise, began on 24 January 2022 and ends 30 September 2023. KPMG will provide consultancy support to the various themes and workstreams, as well as supporting the wider role of the LGR Programme Board.
  • Cumbria County Council is proceeding with the next step in seeking a Judicial Review of the Government's decision to create two new unitary authorities in Cumbria.

Video: What is LGR?

<<Learn all about LGR by watching our 'What is LGR?' video online>>


 


Welcome to May's Stakeholder Newsletter


The seven authorities working together to create two new unitary councils for Cumbria are committed to keeping stakeholders informed on progress.

Recap

This week sees an important landmark for local government reorganisation in Cumbria with the first elections to the two new unitary authorities which will run services from 2023.

Voters in the new authority areas of Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness go to the polls on Thursday to elect councillors to represent them. Those councillors will form the Shadow Authorities that will make decisions on how the new authorities are to operate from April 1, 2023, and then serve on the new councils for four years.

On that day the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced. Cumberland Council will cover the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland council areas. Westmorland and Furness Council will cover the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland council areas.

An LGR Programme Board, covering the seven existing authorities, is leading the work to establish the two new unitary authorities.


What's happened since February's newsletter?

The Structural Changes Order (SCO) completed its passage through both houses of Parliament and received the Ministerial signature. The SCO sets out the process of creating the two new councils and provides the legal basis on which to implement the change to local government structures.

The SCO required two Joint Committees to be set up before the Shadow Authorities are established to make recommendations on some of the important early decisions. The Westmorland and Furness Committee and the Cumberland Joint Committee have now both met twice.

Cllr Jonathan Brook was appointed the Chair of Westmorland and Furness and Cllr Ann Thomson was appointed Vice Chair. For Cumberland, Cllr Stewart Young was appointed the Chair and Cllr Lisa Brown was appointed Vice Chair.

Westmorland and Furness's final meeting is planned for May 10 and Cumberland for May 12.

You can find out more about the Joint Committees online



Shadow Authorities

New websites have been set up for the Shadow Authorities and provide information on the upcoming elections, including a full list of candidates and wards they are standing in. The websites are www.cumberland.gov.uk and www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk. Results will also be posted here.

65 councillors will be elected in new Westmorland and Furness wards and 46 in Cumberland. These councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on the 'Shadow Authority' that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on the new council, which 'go live' on April 1, 2023.

After the elections there will be an induction day for the new councillors on May 9 and the first meetings of both Shadow Authorities will be held on May 17, Cumberland at 10.30am and Westmorland and Furness at 2.30pm.

The Shadow Authorities will adopt a constitution and code of conduct and appoint a Cabinet and Leader. And they will take decisions to prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by Cumbria's county, borough and district councils from 1 April 2023.

The Shadow Authorities will oversee an implementation plan, to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of services for local communities and the setting of a budget for the first year of the new council.

They will also appoint interim and permanent officers to key statutory positions, so that the new council can legally operate.

Interview panels for the interim roles were made up of nominated members of the Joint Committees. Their recommendations will now go to the respective Joint Committees who will be asked to agree them. This will then be put before the relevant Shadow Authorities for final agreement at their first meetings in May.

The nominated appointees are:

Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council

  • Interim Head of Paid Service - Sam Plum, Chief Executive at Barrow Borough Council.
  • Interim Monitoring Officer - Linda Fisher, South Lakeland District Council.
  • Interim Chief Finance Officer - Helen Smith, South Lakeland District Council.

Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council

  • Interim Head of Paid Service - Andrew Seekings, Chief Executive at Allerdale Borough Council.

No Expressions of Interest were received for the roles of Interim Monitoring Officer and Interim Chief Finance Officer for the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council. Those roles are now being re-advertised internally across the seven councils.


Campaign to encourage voters

Leading up to polling day on 5 May, you'll hopefully see lots of reminders for people in Cumbria to get involved in this year's elections to the two new unitary authorities. There's a county-wide awareness campaign running to remind people to use their vote in the biggest change to local councils in Cumbria since the 1970s.

elections img may22 stkhldr

Image description: Male figure holding a microphone. Image reads 'Elections. Have your say. Vote on the 5th May. The biggest change since 1974 is coming to Cumbria's local councils'.


Programme Reset

During March and April changes were made to simplify and strengthen the programme and clarify the roles of workstreams and themes.

Changes included moving to six themes/boards. These are supported by retained, additional or reshaped workstreams and their technical leads.

The diagram below outlines the areas of responsibility for each theme.

Programme Structure

themes dgrm - mayy 22 stkhldr

Image description: Graphic showing the Programme Structure

<<View a large version of the LGR Programme structure diagram>>

The workstreams and their representatives from across the seven councils have all undertaken baselining and SWOT analysis to build a complete picture of how services currently operate, their range of functions, their resources and outputs.

Now those workstreams are beginning the work on blueprints for those services within the two authorities. The blueprints will be considered by the Shadow Authorities when they are in place. They will ensure that services operating from April 1, 2023, are safe and legal and decide the direction of further transformation from that date.


LGR updates

  • The LGR Programme Office is recruiting for a Senior Manager with the deadline for applications midnight on Monday 9 May. Details about LGR vacancies can be found on Cumbria County Council's website.
  • Confused between your Day 0 and Day 1? There's an updated Glossary of frequently used LGR terms. View the latest LGR glossary of terms.  
  • After careful consideration, Cumbria County Council decided not to pursue an appeal following a decision by the High Court on Tuesday 22 February to refuse its application for permission to proceed with its Judicial Review into the decision to create two new unitary authorities. That concluded the Judicial Review Application process.

Find out more and feedback

We hope that you found the newsletter to be a useful resource. Your views and feedback are very important to us. It would help us greatly to improve the information we provide if you would complete our short feedback form.

<<Complete our short feedback form>>

Have a question for us?

Simply email: info@newcouncilsforcumbria.info

Elections were held on Thursday 5 May.

The results are now available at:

cumberland.gov.uk

westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk

Vesting day for the new councils is April 1, 2023. From this day Cumberland Council will provide district and county council services across the current areas of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland. 

Westmorland and Furness Council will provide district and county council services across the current areas of Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland.

  • The new Cumberland Council has 46 councillors. 
  • The new Westmorland and Furness Council has 65 councillors.

They will initially sit on two Shadow Authorities until Vesting Day, and then serve on the new councils for a further four-year term.