The Citadel in Carlisle c Flickr user Robert Cutts CC BY SA . SLASH MaBriy

Carlisle City Council is no more, with the area now under the jurisdiction of Cumberland Council. Credit: Flickr user Robert Cutts, CC BY-SA 2.0

Cumbria has all new councils

Westmorland and Furness Council and Cumberland Council are officially the two unitary councils for the area, replacing the seven local authorities that previously had jurisdiction over the county.

As of 1 April, Cumbria County Council was abolished. As were the councils of Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle City, Copeland, Eden District, and South Lakeland District.

Cumberland Council has since taken over the area previously covered by the Allerdale, Carlisle City, and Copeland authorities.

Meanwhile, Westmorland and Furness Council is in charge of the area formerly covered by Barrow-in-Furness, Eden District, and South Lakeland District authorities.

The rejigging of councils in Cumbria has been in the works for several years, with former local government secretary Robert Jenrick confirming plans for the two unitary councils in 2021.

Parliament approved the shakeup in March last year.

Cumberland Council

Cumberland Council is made up of 29 Labour members, seven Conservative, five Liberal Democrat, two Green, and three independents.

Cumberland Council’s Leader is Cllr Mark Fryer, who was the Leader of Allerdale Council. Former Carlisle City Cllr Lisa Brown is Cumberland Council’s statutory deputy leader. Cllr Denise Rollo is the portfolio holder for sustainable, resilient, and connected places.

Andrew Seekings is the chief executive of Cumberland Council, a role he previously held at Allerdale Council.

Westmorland and Furness Council

Westmorland and Furness Council is made up of 36 Liberal Democrat members, 15 Labour, 11 Conservative, one Green, and two independents.

Westmorland and Furness Council’s Leader is Cllr Jonathan Brook, who was previously the Leader of South Lakeland District Council. At Westmorland and Furness, Brook is also the portfolio holder for strategic partnerships and economy. Cllr Virginia Taylor is the portfolio holder for sustainable communities and localities.

Sam Plum is the chief executive of Westmorland and Furness Council. She was previously the chief executive of Barrow-in-Furness Council.

You can learn more about what this council reshuffle means for Cumbria at Place North West’s Cumbria Development Update on 15 June.

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Welcome back Cumberland and Westmorland.


Virtually the whole of the north and midlands are covered by unitary authorities with combined authorities above them …. Apart from Lancashire! Which is losing out massively in funding. Petty politics in districts and the county must change 4/5 big unitary authorities with a combined authority must be the answer, otherwise even more decline!

By George

SW – The best bit of the Lancashire farce was when Lancaster was exploring joining up with part of Cumbria in a Bay unitary but claimed it didn’t mean they were leaving Lancashire.

By Michael Turner

Hello Michael Turner

The Morecambe Bay Unitary idea was not a new one – in fact the idea dates back to the late 1960s. Lancaster District would merely be part of a new administrative area but culturally would not have left the Red Rose county.

There’s the ceremonial county and then there are administrative countries, the later only really existing since 1888.

Westmorland and Furness unitary also contains Furness (formerly in Lancashire), Penrith (Cumberland) and Sedburgh (Yorkshire).

Cumbria was a manufactured entity as an administrative county though it still has a county sheriff.


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