What it means...

for Cumbria

The One Cumbria proposal for a new single council will mean doing things better; it will join up economic development, business support, housing, spatial planning, transport and connectivity infrastructure, education and skills, and culture and heritage. All this makes sense, especially when you consider that 96% of Cumbria’s residents work in our County.

It will promote better strategic planning and enable delivery at pace – as well as effective prioritisation and alignment of interventions and investment strategies. Government and other national and regional stakeholders will have a single accountable voice to do business with.

It will build on and deliver regional programmes like the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, local initiatives like Town Deals and the transport improvements vital in linking our communities. It will be ready to go further and grasp the opportunities that may emerge through devolution. A new single council for Cumbria will be able to deliver.

What it means...

For Residents

What would One Council mean to you…..What difference would it make…. to you, your friends and your family?

Easy Access to Services

Wouldn’t it be great to only have one council to deal with, one telephone number to call, one website to visit…no matter where you live in the County or what your enquiry concerned. Imagine a life where you, the customer are put first, and you can contact the council in a way and time that suits you.

Making services easier to access was a top priority for Cumbrian people when surveyed about their priorities for any new council.

People - Sally

Meet Sally

Sally is a mum of two, Jodie is 6 and Amy is 13 – Amy has special needs. Sally is a full time mum and is also an unpaid carer to her 87 year old dad who still lives at home and her mum lives full time in a local care home. Sally lives in a small, but pretty village which used to have a shop and a post office. But now it only has the village hall, which isn’t that popular. Sally has a lot on her plate!

Sally spends a lot of time ringing different councils for different things! She needs to talk to one council department about clothing grants and free school meals, and another to talk about home care for her dad. Then there are calls about council tax discounts for her dad as well as calls to the care home about her mum. Her village doesn’t have great broadband yet and this means that her online connections are often slow making online services difficult.

Sally just want the council to see her as a person – and understand the complexity of her life. A single helpline with someone she can talk to about the range of services and support that she needs.

Sally wants One Council to deal with – Sally would choose… One Cumbria

Local decisions made by local people

Wouldn’t it be great to know that local decisions that affect you, your friends and your family were made locally. Made by people like you. People that truly understand your local area and what matters most to the people who live there. Imagine a life where you, the local resident is listened to properly and where you can influence and have your say on local matters such as public transport, the local library, recycling facilities, and which local groups you want to see supported.

97% of Cumbria people when surveyed said that any new council needs to work closely with residents, communities and town and parish councils to respond to local priorities. This was one of their top priorities for any new council.

People - Sally

Meet Bob

Bob is retired but he used to be employed by the city council as a planning officer so he knows how things should work! Bob lives in a nice town that has great shops and not bad services. Bob is active with the parish council but is frustrated that big decisions like new private housing developments just seem to happen with little public consultation or consideration of the impact developments like this may have. Bob wants the parish council to have a lot more say over these decisions and is unhappy that decisions on housing is dealt with by one council, but that transport and schools etc is dealt with by another. Bob is frustrated. These things just don’t seem to be connected, joined up or transparent.

Bob wants the parish council to have ‘one’ council to deal with – and have one proper conversation with the whole community about what is best for the area. Bob would like to see proper local decision making by local people on all key aspects including housing, and the myriad of services that are needed to support a development like this.

Bob wants One Council to deal with – Bob would choose… One Cumbria

Protecting services for the most vulnerable

Wouldn’t it be great to know that every resident of Cumbria had easy access to the care and support that they need. No matter where they live, no matter what their age. Support provided by people who genuinely care and make time to understand their needs – be that food, a safe place to live, a loving family to call their own, or simply help with their day to day tasks like shopping and cooking. Imagine a life where providing services for the most vulnerable is a top priority and getting access to this care and support is made easy with a single call or a single online form.

Protecting services for the most vulnerable – like children and adults who need specialist care - was the number one priority for Cumbrian Residents when surveyed about their top priorities for any new council.

People - Sally

Meet Barbara

Barbara retired early due to ill health, she has severe arthritis, but other than that she is still quite active. She has good days and bad days and sometimes needs help with cooking and cleaning. She used to have a dedicated local carer who visited 3 days a week but now this service is provided by a company based over 100 miles away and it’s always someone different now and they are always in a rush. Barbara also has a son, Tristan, who has special needs who lives with her and as they live in a rural area access to social activities for Tristan like football can be a challenge. Barbara is very independent! But sometimes just needs help and a break. Barbara just wants one person to deal with – she doesn’t want to have to fight for the support she needs. And she doesn’t want to share her home or her personal details over and over again with different people.

Barbara wants one person and one council to deal with. Someone who understands what she, and Tristan need, and can help her sort out all the different bits of support into one easy package.

Barbara wants One Council to deal with – Barbara would vote… One Cumbria

One council that provides real value for money

Wouldn’t it be great to know that you were getting real value for money from your council. That your council spent more of your council tax on delivering services that matter and less on high salaries. Imagine a life where instead of having seven councils with seven chief executives there was only one council, with streamlined management structures and processes. One council that delivered services for everyone in Cumbria.

Reducing the cost of running local government in Cumbria - was a top priority for Cumbrian Residents when surveyed about their top priorities for any new council.

People - Andy

Meet Andy

Andy works hard as a mechanic in a garage. His wage is average and as such his family are entitled to free school meals and clothing grants. Sometimes Andy needs to access a food bank to help make ends meet. Andy really values the support he gets from his council but gets angry when he reads in the paper about the salaries of high paid Chief executives and officers. Sometimes earning 4 to 5 times what he does. Why does Cumbria need so many high paid officers. Andy thinks it would be better to have fewer well paid officers and spend more money supporting families in need.

Andy wants less bureaucracy and less spent on high salaries.

Andy wants One Council to deal with – Andy would choose… One Cumbria

What it means...

for Businesses

One Cumbria will provide a strong and coherent voice for the County. As a single organisation it will represent the whole of the County equally and will be in the strongest position to present and lobby on your business priorities to Government.

A new council will be much better placed to listen to your needs and present a unified voice for business.

One Cumbria will provide a strong voice, regionally and nationally helping to secure the maximum investment for our county.

One Cumbria will capitalise on the many unique attributes that our County has. It will work ‘locally’ with local businesses and the communities they serve to support their priorities and help create opportunities for them to grow.

Only by having one Cumbria can we ensure our voice is heard. By working with all businesses, partners and communities we will ensure Cumbria matters to Government and we will be equipped to deliver local priorities using national funds creating opportunities for us all to grow.

What it means...

for Partners

One council will make the public service landscape in Cumbria less complex and easier to navigate. Through strong system leadership one council will lead the transformation of public services, working closely with all of the Cumbria’s various organisations and agencies.

Strategic partners will be able to talk to ‘one’ council instead of seven – saving time and resources and making partnership working even more effective.

One Cumbria is committed to working closely with, and enhance relationships with the Third Sector and strengthen town and parish councils. Providing them with support and capacity, so that they can build on opportunities to play a greater role with their local communities in decision-making and in service design and delivery.

One Cumbria, as a new unitary council, provides the opportunity to build on the successes of local government across Cumbria to deliver collective ambitions and better outcomes. Providing leadership and helping co-develop local solutions that empower our communities.

What it means...

for Farms

For the Farming Community, One Cumbria will mean only having one council to deal with. It will be able to listen to your needs and ideas and to deliver a strong and powerful voice to government; advocating subsidy systems that can best meet your needs and the case for greater support for innovation and diversification.

We know what a vital role farming plays in our communities and to our county as a whole; supporting the economy including our food and drink and tourist industries, creating jobs and in maintaining Cumbria’s breath-taking landscape. We also know that these are testing times for the farming industry and a new Council for Cumbria will be well equipped to support you, your family and your livelihood.

What it means...

for Councillors

  • Clearer accountability and transparency for residents and businesses
  • Simplification to one council and joined-up, streamlined processes reducing the number of queries
  • A holistic view for members of all council services provided in their area
  • Community leadership encouraging participation in service design and decision-making
  • Involvement in area boards/community networks, supporting local empowerment and delivery
  • Engagement with town and parish councils about the devolution of service responsibilities
  • A renewed relationship between residents/businesses and members/the council
  • A comprehensive programme of support for councillors to help them deliver their new expanded role for the benefit of residents, communities and businesses

What it means...

for The County's MPs

For the County’s MPs One Cumbria, means having only one council to work with – making it much easier for MPs to represent their constituents and the people they serve. One Cumbria would provide the opportunity to build close and effective relationships with a single set of locally elected members so that together they can lobby government to secure the maximum investment into our area and region. By supporting One Cumbria MPs will be able to demonstrate that they are committed to providing the very best local government solution for Cumbria. A single council that delivers significant savings, places the customer at the heart of everything it does and one that is focussed on delivering improved services and improved lives for all.

A PROPOSITION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM FROM CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL