Cumbria County Council is responsible for the more strategic local services of the county, including education (schools, both primary
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.
Control of the council has 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 lost it in 2001. Since then, no party has had a majority.
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".
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.
The 2021 election was postponed on 10 April 2021.
Since 1973 the political control of the council has been as follows:
- ^ Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. ISBN 0-11-750847-0.
- ^ Civil engineering and public works review, vol. 67, Issues 792-797 (1972), p. 715
- ^ Tony Aldous, Goodbye Britain? (1975), p. 171
- ^ "Cumbria County Council plans recycling overhaul". BBC News. 15 January 2012.
- ^ "Full Constitution" (PDF). Cumbria County Council. p. 3. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
- ^ "County council in favour of unitary authority". Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- ^ Julian Whittle (30 March 2007). "Big step forward for unitary authority bid". The Whitehaven News. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- ^ "Woolas announces sixteen successful bids for unitary status to improve local services". eGove monitor. 27 March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- ^ "Council rules out elected mayor". BBC News. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- ^ Julian Whittle, Political fight begins for control of Cumbria council Archived 22 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine dated 12 May 2009 at newsandstar.co.uk, accessed 1 January 2011
- ^ "Whitehaven coal mine approved for third time". BBC News. 3 October 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- ^ "Whitehaven coal mine: Government refuses to call in plans". BBC News. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- ^ Media, P. A. (6 January 2021). "Jenrick criticised over decision not to block new Cumbria coal mine". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- ^ "Welcome to Council and Democracy". Cumbria County Council. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- ^ "Cumbria County Council approves coalition deal". BBC. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- ^ "Cumbria County Council announce new political administration". Cumbria County Council. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- ^ "Local elections postponed in three English counties". BBC News. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- ^ "Cumbria". BBC News Online. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- ^ Elizabeth Hughes, Obituary: Tim Westoll, dated 12 February 1999, in The Independent online
Last edited on 10 April 2021, at 07:19
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