FOLLOWING the resignation of the local government and regional growth minister Simon Clarke questions have been raised over plans for local authorities - including devolution in Cumbria.

Mr Clarke was set to bring a white paper that would overhaul local councils, establishing more mayors and unitary authorities.

The current mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie has said that this resignation should not impact on the devolution deal planned for Cumbria.

He said: “I am a big supporter of devolution and I was one of the council leaders who wanted to go ahead with it when it was last put on the table.

“From my knowledge this is a key model for the Government.

“I assume the next person in the role would have the same plan in mind.”

The leader of South Lakeland District Council says he is not in favour of one single mayor and one unitary authority for the county.

Councillor Giles Archibald comments came as part of his devolution update to the SLDC cabinet meeting. He has been part of the bid to create a unitary authority between Lancaster, Barrow and SLDC.

“A bid for Unitary Cumbria went in last week. I cannot see how one Mayor can sit on top of one singular unitary,” he said.

“I am pleased with the collaboration across the three bodies, the importance of local knowledge and centralised expertise has worked well. The Morecambe Bay Trust, in particular, has helped harmonise collaboration between parishes and this district.”

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: “The county council will continue to progress with our Unitary proposal and we look forward to the Devolution white paper, which is expected later this month.”