The Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council has agreed its ambitious Council Plan for its first four years.
The plan is a key document outlining the focus for the new authority, as well as how it will operate and what residents can expect. The plan puts the health and wellbeing of Cumberland residents at the heart of everything the council seeks to achieve.
Central to the plan is the Council’s Vision. This is that “Cumberland Council takes 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 improve the health and wellbeing of its residents, the council will focus on four key areas.
The first is making Cumberland a fairer place by tackling inequality and exclusion in all aspects of society, including racism.
The council also seeks to be a high performing organisation which provides excellent, efficient and enterprising services for everyone. Central to achieving this is through the use of technology but also by planning services in close collaboration with residents and partners.
The council will help support the local economy through its procurement processes and its assets, and do what it can to ensure people have the skills they need to succeed.
Also key to its plans is action on the environment, supporting the growth of a low carbon economy and help for those affected by extreme weather events.
Presenting the plan to the Shadow Authority, Cllr Bob Kelly, Shadow Executive member with responsibility for Policy and Performance, said: “I hope that everyone can find something to take away from this plan, which is designed to represent the whole council and how we will approach the provision of services for our communities.
“There are four key areas of focus. The health and wellbeing of the people of Cumberland will be at the heart of everything we do. We’ll engage better with our communities and look to involve them as much as possible in how we provide services for them. Tackling the climate crisis is also something at the forefront of our activities as will be tackling the inequalities which can have a huge impact on the lives of so many people.
“This is a working document. It will be reviewed and amended as we progress over the coming years, but this is very much a roadmap outlining how we want that journey to proceed.”
Speaking on the vote to approve the plan, Cllr Mark Fryer, Leader of the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council said: “I’d like to thank all my fellow councillors who approved the Council Plan. This is a plan for everyone at the new council - indeed for every resident in Cumberland – and it is a starting point for how we as a council will operate and provide services.
“I’d also like to thank those who took the time to provide feedback to our consultation. This conversation was just the start of an approach which will see us engaging more with our communities on how we should provide the services they need. We know there are challenges ahead which is why we want to involve our partners and residents as much as possible.
“One comment from the consultation stood out for me. This said that the plan was “all about people”. I make no apologies for that. It is. As the plan makes clear, we want our residents to be happy, healthy, and safe throughout their lives. We want to promote independence, but also to be there with help early on when needed. And we’ll support our most vulnerable residents to live well. This plan is all about people.”
The draft plan underwent a consultation during the summer with members of the public, staff, as well as local partners and organisations. In total over 500 responses were received.
The vote on the Cumberland Council Plan was taken at the meeting of the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council held at Lakes College in Workington on 18 October 2022. The plan had been agreed by the Shadow Executive on 19 September 2022.
The plan also outlines the core set of values for the new organisation. These are to be compassionate, innovative, empowering, ambitious, and collaborative.
Copies of the Council Plan can be found on the Council’s website.