Carlisle City Council has launched a public consultation being heralded as the chance for local people to have their say about the future of the city and the surrounding area.
The so called Carlisle Plan aims to improve everything from business opportunities to arts and leisure facilities.
But the council admit that financially, times are difficult, and expectations need to be realistic. There's also harsh criticism that people in outlying towns are being left out. This is John Bevir's full report.
Residents across Carlisle are being encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle more in 2013.
Carlisle City Council are hoping people will be inspired to make 2013 a 'green' year.
They have issued guidelines to help residents:
If you have a Greenbox you can recycle the following items at the kerbside or at a local recycling point: wrapping paper; Christmas cards; clean and empty glass bottles & jars and clean and empty drinks & food cans and empty aerosol cans.
You can recycle your real Christmas trees using your Garden Waste **bin
In the New Year, to help speed up your garden waste collections please do not place your garden waste bin out for collection unless it is at least half full.
If you have Greenbags you can recycle the following items from the kerbside or from recycling points: cardboard food and packaging boxes; hard plastic packaging; plastic bottles and food tubs
Please put plastics in one bag and cardboard in the other as we cannot recycle mixed bags.
Half a million pounds will be spent on repairing and improving the Old Town Hall in the middle of Carlisle. Significant improvement works will take place on the Grade 1 listed building between January and June next year.
The majority of the cost is being met by the City Council, which owns the building, with some support from English Heritage. Major works will take place both in and outside the building, which currently houses private businesses and a Tourist Information centre.
In budget proposals for 2013 -2014 Carlisle City Council are recommending that no-one who works for the council is paid less than the 'Living Wage'. About £30,000 will be set aside to pay for an increase to a minimum hourly rate of £7.45.
This will benefit around 19 staff currently working there and all new staff who are employed from April 2013 will receive the increased rate.
Cllr Les Tickner, Portfolio holder for Finance, Governance & Resources, said:
"The implementation of the living wage for our staff is an important part of the council's budget proposals. A recent survey of councils where the living wage has been implemented showed that it has provided an important new stimulus to the local economy as well as being of huge benefit to the lowest paid members of staff."
– Councillor Les Tickner
The proposals will be discussed at the Executive meeting on 19th November. Other proposals that will be discussed are:
£5million for leisure facilities in 2015/16.
£1.5million for the Old Town Hall and Greenmarket improvements for 2014/15;
£1.6million for the Harraby School and Community Project split between 2013-2016
£586,000 for the Central Methodist Hall, split between 2013-2016
£100,000 for public realm improvements around the city centre, Botchergate and Rickergate areas for 2013/14.
"The Tour of Britain was a wonderful opportunity for promoting Carlisle. As part of its journey through the city streets, local residents, schools, businesses and community groups provided tremendous supportto all the cyclists taking part.
"We're delighted that the event has provided a much-needed cash injection to the local economy.
"The Carlisle stage showcased us to a global audience and we hope to welcome it back in future years."
– Cllr Joe Hendry, Leader of Carlisle City Council,
"The Carlisle start was one of the highlights of this year's race, with some of the largest crowds of any start, despite the weather!
"The people of Carlisle and Cumbria really embraced The Tour this year and we hope to continue to work with Carlisle City Council going forwards."
– Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of The Tour of Britain