Stormy meeting discusses plans for council reform in Cumbria

  • Report by Ralph Blunsom.

Plans to reorganise local government in Cumbria were discussed at a stormy meeting in Carlisle today.

More than 50 members of Cumbria County Council met at the city's racecourse.

This special meeting was the first time councillors had all  met face to face since before the pandemic and the venue was chosen to ensure compliance with Covid-19 safety measures.

It focussed on a letter sent by Stewart Young, the authority's leader, asking for an explanation from the Government as to why it had decided on plans to replace the single county council and six district councils with two unitary authorities.

The Conservatives claimed that it was the first step towards an expensive judicial review. A motion from the party describing any attempt to mount a legal challenge as a waste of public money and time was passed by members.

The Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition though described the meeting as an expensive waste of time and have pointed out that the motion in non-binding.

The Government are expected to respond to the council's letter giving resons for the local government reform in about two weeks time just before a full council meeting back here at the racecourse.