Town criers in Cumbria

Westmorland and Furness Council launches as town criers usher in new era for Cumbria

Last weekend saw the official establishment of Westmorland and Furness Council as the plans to reorganise Cumbria into two unitary authorities took action.

The move comes after the Government announced its intention to create two unitary councils for Cumbria in July 2021, with Westmorland and Furness serving in the Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland areas, and Cumberland Council taking responsibility for the Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland regions.

Coming in as the third largest unitary authority in England supporting around 225,000 residents, Westmorland and Furness will provide everything from waste collection and children’s services, all the way to highway and adult social care services.

Westmorland and Furness Council’s Chief Executive, Sam Plum, said: “We have worked very hard over the last 18 months to prepare for this moment and to ensure that the key services our communities rely on will continue unaffected.

“We have ambitious plans for the future and we are looking forward to starting the work to improve and transform services so that we can deliver the very best outcomes for our residents, customers and communities.’’

Westmorland and Furness Council leaflet

Town criers took to the streets to announce the transfer of powers in Barrow, Kendal and Penrith – the first part of the proclamation read:

“Good citizens, may it be known throughout this great realm, that on this day, Saturday the first of April two thousand and twenty-three, the new Council of Westmorland and Furness came into being.

“On this most momentous occasion, we come together to mark this event in our history and look forward to the great opportunity that comes with a new council.

“A caring council which will place people at the heart of everything they do.

“An ambitious council which will work to enable all our villages and towns to thrive; and for our residents to lead healthy, happy lives.”

More information on the reorganisation of local government in Cumbria is available here.


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