THE Future of who we pay our council tax to and the services we get from it is still not certain.

The leaders of the three neighbouring councils of; Barrow borough, South Lakeland district (SDLC), and Lancaster city, have written to the Government once again, to to say that they want to merge together and create a new single 'Bay authority'

The letter was signed by SLDC's new leader Johnathan Brook for the first time, after Giles Archibald stepped down at the annual general meeting last month. Lancaster also has a new signature on the letter with its new leader Councillor Caroline Jackson.

The letter entitled; 'support for reorganisation,' was sent to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The letter said: "The Bay proposal has strong cross party support in each of our local authorities and as a new team of Leaders, we are working together to develop plans to implement changes, subject to your decision on local government re-organisation. We believe that our Bay proposal is the option that best meets your criteria.

A new North Cumbria authority covering Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Eden has also been submitted along with several other proposed combinations, including a one Cumbria authority.

The letter from Ann Thomson for Barrow, Jonathan Brook for SLDC and Caroline Jackson for Lancaster said: "Our proposal is an opportunity to positively transform the area at a time when our communities and economies are rebuilding from the pandemic.The Bay will improve local government and services, and provide stronger leadership and more sustainable structures.

“Our proposals deliver comparable benefits to reorganisation to a county unitary in the short term but crucially, are more resilient in the longer term. Our priority, like yours, is to deliver public value through a sustainable and resilient local council that delivers priority services and empowers communities. Our proposal is a bold vision for local government reform. There’s a public service imperative to focus on what public services need to do to respond to today’s society and needs. Our proposals are about reform as much as reorganisation, focussing on the major agendas of community power, community wealth, health and well-being and the climate emergency.’’

The Governments consultation on changing the way we are governed closed last April, with a final decision expected this summer. Currently Cumbria has three tears of local authority, from parish councils to district / borough councils and a county council. It is hoped the restructure will save money though less bureaucracy.