I’ve said from day one if you do what you’ve always done then you’ll get what you’ve always got. 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.

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 Reorganisation 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.

Cllr Mark Fryer Leader of the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council