Councils respond to Government offer of devolution support

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Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council have confirmed - in a letter to the UK Government - their commitment to joint working across their council boundaries.

A letter, signed by Leaders of each council, has been sent to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Jacob Young.

The councils’ letter is in response to an offer of support from the Government to begin to explore devolution for the area. Both councils have welcomed the offer and have confirmed that they are happy to meet with members of the Levelling Up team to explore the level and type of support available.

Joint working is already demonstrated within the council areas. Earlier this month the councils confirmed that they are working together on the transfer of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) functions across Cumbria. A new Cumbria Economic Growth Board is also in the process of being established.

This requires both Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness Councils to work together to support the integration of LEP functions. The councils have agreed that a Joint Executive Committee will provide the basis of joint working and collaboration on strategic economic growth across the Cumbria geography.

Cllr Mark Fryer, Leader of Cumberland Council, said: 

“We continue to work with Westmorland and Furness Council on a variety of hosted and shared services. The relationship between the two councils is as strong as ever, and the LEP transfer is a catalyst for us working together on the economic prosperity of Cumbria. 

“We are fully supportive of key developments underway within the wider region and know there is real benefit to us working together to create a strong voice for Cumbria.”

Cllr Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, said:

“Both councils are ambitious for their areas and passionate about both delivering strong services and creating new opportunities for residents and businesses.

“We welcome any opportunity that enables us to move further and faster with bringing our vision to reality for the benefit of people across our respective areas.” 

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