Two former Allerdale Borough Councillors have been honoured for their commitment to the community.
Jim Musgrave and Maureen Rourke were given the title of Honorary Aldermen in a ceremony in Workington last night, Wednesday, 16 July.
Jim Musgrave was a founder member of Allerdale Borough Council and is, to date, its longest serving member. He was also the only councillor to serve continuously on the authority since its inception in 1974.
Maureen Rourke spent 20 years serving as a borough councillor. She was Deputy Mayor and Mayor but it was in the area of housing that Maureen made a big difference to our communities.
She was a member of the first Derwent and Solway board and helped guide the transfer of council housing into the housing association’s care.
“One of the most enjoyable parts of my role as Leader of Allerdale Borough Council is when I am asked to recognise the hard work and dedication of those people who have made a difference in our communities. Today is one of those occasions.
“The title of Honorary Alderman is bestowed on those who have given years of distinguished service and dedication to the borough. The official line in the Local Government Act says that they must have ‘rendered eminent services to the Council’.
"I hope that you will all agree that this is most definitely the case with these two former members.”
– Councillor Alan Smith, Allerdale Borough Council
Businesses and residents in Cockermouth are facing two and a half months of disruption after the main street was closed because of flood damage.
It's nearly 5 years since the town flooded but its effects have led to subsidence under the road.
The county council is spending 1 point 7 million pounds on repairs. Allerdale Borough Council is allowing shoppers to park free for up to two hours in some car parks to help traders who will be affected.
Some businesses fear that they may lose trade because of the closure and are hoping to get across the message that shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs and other outlets will all remain open during the work.
New jobs, shops, businesses and housing are on the cards for Allerdale after the council agreed to form a partnership with a land investment fund to regenerate surplus land in the borough.
The Allerdale Investment Partnership will see the Council working with Lucent Strategic Land Fund to create new jobs, housing, retail and leisure opportunities – and generate significant money that will be reinvested in strategic projects across the district.
“It is very important that the Council thinks carefully about how it disposes of its surplus assets and maximises the investment it can attract.
"We can use the proceeds of these surplus land sales throughout the borough, to develop better assets for our communities.
"We can also acquire land so we can meet the demands of the market and work with other public and private landowners to facilitate development. We are a council that is delivering on its promises and looking to the future.”
– Councillor Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council
Three initial sites have been selected as surplus to requirements and Executive Members also approved their disposal by the Allerdale Investment Partnership.
Shoppers across the region have been encouraged to support local businesses as part of the Government's Small Business Saturday initiative.
The scheme aims to highlight what independent retailers bring to their high streets and encourages people to shop locally.
Deborah Cosgove, Project Manager at Allerdale Borough Council, said: "We've been going additional work as to how we can actually support them in the longer term to be more sustainable to grow or even just to make sure they can cope over what can be very difficult times for people."
Allerdale Borough Council is to cut £2.4 million from it's budget to avoid a deficit by the end of 2015/16.
Factors like changes to central government funding, pay rises for public sector workers and low interest rates have all been linked with the need to cut costs, with Allerdale council claiming it could see a 28% decrease in funding from central government as a result.
They plan to review the council's reserves, cut spending and reduce the budgets of departments that regularly under-spend.
The council are already taking steps towards switching energy suppliers in an attempt to save money.
Allerdale Borough Council is urging householders to ensure they do not give out personal information to strangers.
It comes after a recent report of an unknown man offering to help residents out with their benefits in Workington.
A woman reported to the Council that he persuaded a vulnerable relative to hand over her bank details on the door step.
“If you are in doubt as to whether they are legitimate then we would ask you to check if they have any identification, if so contact the company to see if they have members of staff working in the area.
– Councillor Philip Tibble
For more information, contact Allerdale Borough Council’s Revenues and Benefits team on 01900 702702.