About Westmorland and Furness Shadow Authority

Welcome to the new website for the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council.

This website will hold all the public information related to the Shadow Authority, including information about the elections in May 2022 and the meetings, agendas, minutes and decisions of the Shadow Authority.

Local government reorganisation

On 1 April 2023 local government in Cumbria will change.

The current six district councils, along with Cumbria County Council, will be replaced by two new ‘unitary’ councils.

In the area currently covered by South Lakeland District, Barrow Borough and Eden District councils a new authority, Westmorland and Furness Council, will be created.

From April 2023 Westmorland and Furness Council will be responsible for providing all the services currently delivered in those areas by the three district and borough councils and the county council.

That means everything from your waste and recycling collections to highways and planning matters, adult social care and parking will all be looked after by the new Westmorland and Furness Council.

In the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland council areas a second new authority will be taking over providing services, Cumberland Council.

Government announced its decision to create two new unitary councils for Cumbria in July 2021. Since then work has been ongoing to ensure a smooth switch to the new councils next year.

Find out more about Local Government Reorganisation and the new councils in Cumbria.

As part of the process to set up the new unitary councils, ‘shadow’ authorities will be created following elections in May 2022.

The Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council will be overseeing the planning and preparation for the new unitary council between now and April 2023.

The Shadow Authority 

Elections took place on 5 May 2022 to elect 65 councillors in new wards across the Westmorland and Furness area. Councillors will be elected for a five-year term of office.

There is information about the councillors that were elected and the business of the Shadow Authority on our 'Your Council' pages.

Map showing the wards for the Westmorland and Furness Council area:

The first year will be on a ‘Shadow Authority’ that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Westmorland and Furness Council.

Following the elections on 5 May, a provisional date for the first meeting of the Shadow Authority of Westmorland and Furness Council has been set for Tuesday, 17 May, at County Hall, Kendal.

The Shadow Authority will have important business to look at before April 2023. This will include adopting a constitution and code of conduct for the Westmorland and Furness Council and appointing a Cabinet and Leader.

It will also appoint interim and permanent officers to key statutory positions, so that the new council can legally operate and will take decisions to prepare for the running of all services currently carried out by the county, borough and district councils from April 2023.

The Shadow Authority will also oversee an implementation plan, to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of services for local communities and the setting of a budget for the first year of the new council.

The existing county, borough and district councils will continue to operate and deliver all current services until April 2023.

The Shadow Authority will have no responsibility for service delivery, but it will operate alongside the existing councils until Westmorland and Furness Council ‘goes live’ on 1 April 2023.

For information about current services please refer to the district, borough or county council for your area:

On 1 April 2023 the Shadow Authority and its 65 councillors become the new Westmorland and Furness Council and it will take over responsibility for services.

At that point the existing county, borough and district councils will be dissolved.

Joint Committees

Before the Shadow Authorities are established following the elections in May, for a short period until the elections a Joint Committee will meet.

The Joint Committee will make recommendations to the Shadow Authorities on some of the important early decisions, such as the appointment of interim statutory officers and a new council constitution.

The Westmorland and Furness Joint Committee is made up of 12 councillors, three from the county council and three from each of the current district councils that make up the new unitary council area (South Lakeland, Barrow and Eden). 

Westmorland and Furness Joint Committee Membership:

The first meeting of the Westmorland and Furness Joint Committee has been scheduled for 29 March at Kendal Town Hall.

For further information about the Joint Committee meetings, including dates, agendas and minutes, please refer to the website of the existing district or borough council in your area.