County council elections due to take place in Cumbria on May 6 have been postponed until next year.
It follows an announcement yesterday that residents are to be given their say on proposals to establish a unitary model of local government for the area.
Following a formal invitation from government last October to councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset to submit proposals for reorganisation, the Local Government Secretary has received eight locally-led proposals for consideration – four from councils in Cumbria and two each from councils in Somerset and North Yorkshire.
The proposals outline how the councils who have responded to the invitation want to restructure local government in their area to establish unitary local government.
This means moving from a two-tier system of county and district councils, to a system where there is a single tier for any given area.
The consultation asks a number of questions about each proposal around value for money, proposed geography of the council and impact of the proposal on local services.
As a result of yesterday’s consultation launch, the county council elections due to be held in Cumbria will be rescheduled to May 2022.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, it is expected that any new unitary council will be fully operational from April, 2023, with transitional arrangements expected to be in place from 2022, including elections in May 2022 to the shadow or continuing councils.