Have your say on how Cumberland Council provides its services from 1 April 2023.
That’s the message from the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council as it develops the authority’s key priorities for the next four years.
Contained in the plan are the areas the council will focus on up until 2027, as well as how the council will work and what residents can expect. It has been drafted by Councillors led by the Shadow Executive members who are now asking local residents, business owners and organisations their views.
Foremost within the plan is the overall vision for the council. This is that “Cumberland Council will take a fresh approach to the delivery of inclusive services that are shaped by our residents and communities. By enabling positive outcomes for health and wellbeing, prosperity and the environment we will fulfil the potential of our people and our area.”
To help achieve this, the council proposes four main areas to focus on. Local communities will have a central role to play in deciding how services are provided so that they meet local need. In addition, improving health and wellbeing will be central to everything the council does.
Ensuring the council uses local suppliers as much as possible will be key to its economic and procurement strategy. This will mean that local businesses benefit as much as possible from the council’s spending.
The final area it will focus on is to ensure it provides excellent public services that truly deliver what the communities in the Cumberland area need, when they need it.
The plan also outlines the council’s operational approach.
Council services will be accessible local communities and partners will be involved in their design from the start. Part of this engagement will also be to learn from best practice and improve when the organisation doesn’t get things right.
The plan also outlines how working collaboratively with local people will be crucial if it is to successfully tackle the challenges the area faces, including the apparent health and wealth inequalities. Where possible the council will look to prevent issues before they become a major problem.
Writing in the Council Plan, Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Fryer, says: “There is a thirst, a drive, a passion from the newly elected Members and from our fantastic staff to embrace what Cumberland can be – what it will be. We don’t have all the answers yet, we might get things wrong, but I can promise you that we are going into this with our eyes wide open. We will deliver better services, we will address the income gap and we will improve life for all.”
The council’s ambitions for its services is matched by its desire to be a passionate advocate and leader for the area in order to unlock investment and help the local economy grow. It will also do what it can to drive change and use its assets to stimulate the local economy.
Any change will be sustainable however – whether for the council’s finances or the environment.
Cllr Fryer added: “Our people are our priority. That’s it. It’s that simple. We have this opportunity to change everything, to fix what isn’t working, to look for new ways of delivering our services so they are the best they can be. We aren’t afraid of a challenge. Local Government Reform is hard, it won’t be easy, but it is also a gift, the chance to bring equality to the lives of those living in Cumberland. We plan to grab that chance and run with it.”
Finally the draft plan sets out the values for the new organisation. These are to:
- Be compassionate
- Be innovative
- Be empowering
- Be ambitious
- Be collaborative
The full draft Cumberland Council Plan can be found on the website Cumberland Council Plan | Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council
Anyone wishing to have their say can use the online form. There are also a number of drop-in events being organised throughout the area and people can find out more at a number of local libraries.
The deadline for responses is 5pm on 5 September 2022.