A series of informal drop-in events have been confirmed so residents can have their say on the vision and priorities for the new Westmorland and Furness Council.

The community conversation drop-ins are being held at locations across the new authority area, starting in Dalton tomorrow and also including Barrow, Kendal, Walney, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen, Ulverston and Windermere.

Ahead of taking on services from April 1, 2023, the ‘shadow’ authority for Westmorland and Furness is drawing up its first Council Plan.

The drop-ins are an opportunity for people to share their views on the emerging priorities and strategic aims in the draft Council Plan. The plan will also capture the values and principles that will underpin how the council will work.

Drop-ins will be held on the following dates and locations:

Barrow area

Barrow Market:

Wednesday, 7 September, 11am-2pm

Friday, 9 September, 11am- 2pm

Round House, Biggar Bank Road, Walney Island:

Friday, 2 September, 10am-2pm

Friday, 16 September, 10am-2pm

Dalton Drill Hall, Dalton-in-Furness:

Thursday, 1 September, 4pm-6pm

Thursday, 8 September, 4pm-6.30pm

Eden area

Co-op, Appleby

Tuesday, 6 September, 12pm-2pm

Co-op, Kirkby Stephen

Wednesday, 7 September, 12pm-2pm

South Lakeland area

Westmorland Shopping Centre, Kendal

Friday, 9 September, 11.30am-1.30pm

Booths, Windermere

Thursday, 15 September, 11.30am-1.30pm

Booths, Ulverston

Friday, 16 September, 11.30am-1.30pm

At the drop-ins you will be able to find out more about the draft Council Plan, pick up a printed copy and complete feedback forms.

Priorities being discussed in the Council Plan include addressing health and social inequalities, measures to tackle climate change, highways and transport, empowering and working with communities, children’s care, the economy and housing.

The draft Council Plan outlines a vision to make Westmorland and Furness ‘A great place to live, work and thrive – now and in the future’.

The shadow council launched an engagement process this week to hear feedback on some of the content so far.

As well as attending one of the drop-ins, anyone wanting to find out more can read about the draft Council Plan on the website: https://www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk/council-plan-have-your-say/

You can provide feedback through an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/R73VKZF

Printed copies of the draft Council Plan can be picked-up at main libraries in Alston, Barrow, Kendal and Penrith and briefings are being held for key ‘stakeholder’ groups, including community and charity organisations and parish councils.

All the feedback received will help inform the final version of the Council Plan vision, values and priorities, due to be approved later this year.

Westmorland and Furness Council will then continue to engage with residents, businesses and organisations during the first full year of the new council after ‘Vesting Day’ on 1 April 2023, as it develops the detailed strategies that will deliver the agreed Council Plan vision and priorities.

Westmorland and Furness Council will be England’s third largest unitary authority by area when it comes into effect next year. It will provide services to approximately 225,000 residents who are currently served by Barrow Borough, Eden District, South Lakeland District and Cumbria County councils, which are being abolished.

Westmorland and Furness Council will act in ‘shadow’ form for the next seven months, as its councillors engage in the planning and preparation for Vesting Day on 1 April 2023.

Until April 2023 all current services will continue to be delivered by the existing councils, overseen by the councillors on those councils.

In the meantime, councillors on the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council will be working with the Local Government Reorganisation programme planning for the new council to ‘go live’ in 2023.


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