Cumbria County Council
Chair of the Council
Anthony James (Tony) Markley, Conservative Party
since 15 April 2021
Leader of the Council
Stewart Young, Labour
since 16 May 2013
since 4 April 2022
|Seats||84(43 needed for a majority)|
Length of term
|4 May 2017|
Cumbria County Council is the county council for the non-metropolitan county of Cumbria in the North West of England. Established in April 1974, following its first elections held the previous year, it is an elected local government body responsible for the most significant local services in the area, including schools, roads, and social services.
In July 2021 the government announced that in April 2023, the county council will be abolished and its functions transferred to two new unitary authorities: Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council.
In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative counties of Cumberland and Westmorland and the county borough of Carlisle were abolished, and the areas they covered were combined with parts of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire to form a new non-metropolitan county called Cumbria.
Cumbria County Council is responsible for the more strategic local services of the county, including education (schools, both primary and secondary), libraries and youth services, social services, highway maintenance, waste disposal, emergency planning, consumer protection, and town and country planning for minerals matters, waste and for highways. This makes it a substantial employer.
The former Cumberland County Council's final major road scheme, an A66 bypass for Keswick, was prepared by Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick, consulting engineers, in 1972,and construction began in the summer of 1974, with the new authority completing the scheme.
The Council operates various recycling and waste disposal facilities across the area. In January 2012, the Council announced plans to close six of these centres. The six sites identified by the review as most suitable for closure are at Ambleside, Brampton, Grange-over-Sands, Kirkby Stephen, Millom and Wigton.
The administrative offices are at Cumbria House in Botchergate, Carlisle, and formal meetings of the Council are held at the County Offices in Kendal.
Control of the council swung back and forth. In its first four years (1973-1977) there was no overall control, but in 1977 the Conservatives gained a majority. In 1981, this became a majority for Labour, and from 1985 there was again no one-party control. In 1997, Labour again took control, but they lost it in 2001. In the final years of its existence there again was no party with a majority.
A proposal for Cumbria to become a unitary authority was made in 2007,and Cumbria went into consultation, with opposition coming from the district councils which would be abolished: Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden, and South Lakeland. In the event, the county was left out of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England.
In 2008, the county council rejected a proposal to introduce a directly elected mayor, opting instead for a cabinet-style administration that resembled the status quo.During the same year, an administration of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats collapsed, suffering not least from lacking a majority in the council. Thirty-nine Labour members and three Independents exactly equalled the total of thirty-two Conservatives and ten Liberal Democrats. A minority Labour administration then took over running the council until the June 2009 elections, when a net gain of one seat from the Independents led to the creation of a new Conservative and Labour coalition.
In 2020 the council approved Whitehaven coal mine for a third time. It will be the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years. The approval was widely criticised for its environmental damage and carbon emissions. Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron described the coal mine as a "complete disaster for our children's future".
In July 2021 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that in April 2023, the county will be reorganised into two unitary authorities. Cumbria County Council is to be abolished and its functions transferred to the new authorities.An eastern authority, to be known as Westmorland and Furness Council, will cover the current districts of Barrow-in-Furness, Eden, and South Lakeland, and a new western authority, to be known as Cumberland Council, will cover the current districts of Allerdale, Carlisle, and Copeland.
The first elections to the authority were in 1973, and members have been elected since then every four years for a four-year term of office, with elections being held all together on the "first past the post" system.
Since boundary changes in 2001, 84 councillors have been elected from 84 single-member electoral divisions.
At the June 2009 elections, the outcome was 38 Conservatives members, 24 Labour, 16 Liberal Democrats and six Independents. A Labour-Conservative coalition was formed.
Following the May 2013 elections the outcome was 35 Labour members, 26 Conservative, 16 Liberal Democrats and 7 Independents. A Labour-Lib Dem coalition was formed.Following the May 2017 elections, the outcome was 37 Conservative, 26 Labour, 16 Liberal Democrats and 5 Independents, resulting in a Labour-Lib Dem coalition with support from Independent members.
The 2021 election was postponed on 10 April 2021.In view of the council's abolition there was no election to the council in 2022.
Since 1973 the political control of the council has been as follows:
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||1973–1977|
|No overall control||1985–1997|
|No overall control||2001–2023|
Cumbria is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England, bordering Scotland. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county. The only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the south-western tip of the county.
Cumberland is a historic county in North West England that had an administrative function from the 12th century until 1974. It is bordered by the historic counties of Northumberland to the north-east, County Durham to the east, Westmorland to the south-east, Lancashire to the south, and the Scottish counties of Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire to the north. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria. In April 2023, local government in Cumbria will be reorganised into two unitary authorities; one of these is to be named Cumberland and would include most of the historic county, with the exception of Penrith and the surrounding area.
The Borough of Copeland is a local government district and borough in western Cumbria, England. Its council is based in Whitehaven. It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the Borough of Whitehaven, Ennerdale Rural District and Millom Rural District. The population of the Non-Metropolitan district was 69,318 according to the 2001 census, increasing to 70,603 at the 2011 Census.
The City of Carlisle is a local government district of Cumbria, England, with the status of a city and non-metropolitan district. It is named after its largest settlement, Carlisle, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Brampton and Longtown, as well as outlying villages including Dalston, Scotby and Wetheral. In 2011 the district had a population of 107,524, and an area of 1,039.97 square kilometres (402 sq mi).
Westmorland and Lonsdale is a constituency in the south of Cumbria, represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Tim Farron, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats (2015–2017).
Hesket is a large civil parish in the Eden District of Cumbria, England, on the main A6 between Carlisle and Penrith. At the 2001 census it had a population of 2,363, increasing to 2,588 at the 2011 census, and estimated at 2,774 in 2019. The parish formed in 1894 with the passing of the Local Government Act 1894 and was enlarged to incorporate the parish of Plumpton Wall following a County Review Order in 1934. Hesket is part of the historic royal hunting ground of Inglewood Forest. Settlement in the parish dates back to the Roman occupation.
Local elections took place in some parts of the UK on 7 June 2001. Elections took place for all of the English shire counties, some English unitary authorities and all of the Northern Ireland districts. The elections were delayed from the usual date of the first Thursday in May due to the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis and were held on the same day as the general election.
An election to Cumbria County Council took place on 2 May 2009 as part of the 2009 United Kingdom local elections. All 84 councillors were elected from various electoral divisions, which returned one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. They coincided with an election for the European Parliament. All 84 seats in the Council were up for election, and a total of 301 candidates stood. The total number of people registered to vote was 392,931. Prior to the election local Conservatives were leading a coalition with the Liberal Democrats with the Labour party as the council's official opposition.
Cumberland County Council was the county council of Cumberland in the North West of England, an elected local government body responsible for most local services in the county. It was established in 1889 as a result of the Local Government Act 1888. Carlisle was initially within its area but became a separate county borough in 1914. In 1974, both authorities were merged along with parts of others into the new Cumbria County Council. In April 2023 local government in Cumbria will be reorganised into two unitary authorities, one of which is to be named Cumberland Council and would include most of the historic county, with the exception of Penrith and the surrounding area.
The 2010 Carlisle City Council election took place on 6 May 2010 to elect members of Carlisle District Council in Cumbria, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.
The 2011 Carlisle City Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members of Carlisle District Council in Cumbria, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.
Cumberland Council is the local authority for Cumberland in England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It will operate as a shadow authority until taking up its powers in 2023. Cumberland Council will replace Cumbria County Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Carlisle City Council and Copeland Borough Council.
Structural changes to local government in England have taken place between 2019 and 2021, and will potentially continue in 2023. Some of these changes continue the trend of new unitary authorities being created from other types of local government districts, which was a policy of Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick from 2019.
Local elections in the United Kingdom took place on 5 May 2022. These included elections for all London borough councils, and for all local authorities in Wales and Scotland. Most seats in England were last up for election in 2018 and in Scotland and Wales in 2017. The elections coincided with the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election. In 91 cases, most of them in Wales, council seats were uncontested, each having only one candidate. Three seats in Scotland remained unfilled as no one stepped forward to fill them.
Cumberland is a future unitary local government area in north-west England. It will be formally established on 1 April 2023. The district will consist of the areas covered by the current Cumbrian districts of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland. It will cover 75% of the area of, and 90% of the population of, the historic county of Cumberland. The authority will sit within the ceremonial county of Cumbria.
Westmorland and Furness is a future unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Cumbria in north-west England. The council will cover the areas currently served by the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, Eden and South Lakeland. It will include all of the area of the historic county of Westmorland as well as the Furness district of historic Lancashire. It will also incorporate a very small part of historic Yorkshire together with about quarter of the area of the historic county of Cumberland.
The 2022 Westmorland and Furness Council election was held on 5 May 2022 to elect members of Westmorland and Furness Council in England. The council area will consist of the area covered by the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, Eden and South Lakeland.
Westmorland and Furness Council is the future local authority for Westmorland and Furness in the north-west of England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. Westmorland and Furness Council will replace Cumbria County Council, Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council.
All 65 members of Westmorland and Furness Council unitary authority in England are elected every four years.