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Farron opposes Cumbria unitary bid in parliament

June 5, 2007 12:00 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has spoken today in a Westminster Hall debate on the future of local government in Cumbria. Mr Farron has been campaigning against Cumbria County Council's bid submitted to the government which would see seven local authorities merged into one, with the administrative centre in Carlisle.

Mr Farron also stated that the weight of public opinion is heavily against the plans for a unitary authority in Cumbria.

Speaking during the debate, Mr Farron said:

"A unitary Cumbria would separate local people from their council. The centralisation of power in Carlisle would increase the resentment that people feel towards local government and their sense of remoteness from it.

"Not only would the council be remote from its citizens, but individual councillors would find themselves further removed from their residents.

"A unitary Cumbria would be a contrived entity, doomed to be the first up for the chop the next time that Whitehall chooses to review local government organisation. On behalf of the residents of Westmorland and Lonsdale I call upon the minister to save time and reject the Council's bid."

Responding to Mr Farron, Angela Smith, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:

"Any decision on this matter will be taken with extremely careful consideration. Whatever the structure is, we want to ensure the best outcome for local residents. All the comments made in the debate today will be taken into account."