Leadership elected at inaugural Cumberland Council meeting

·2-min read
The first meeting of the Cumberland Council Shadow Authority took place today
The first meeting of the Cumberland Council Shadow Authority took place today

A LEADER has been elected for the new Cumberland Council in its first meeting as a Shadow Authority today.

Councillor Mark Fryer will lead the new unitary authority. Lisa Brown, councillor for Denton Holme and Morton South will serve as his statutory deputy leader.

Cllr Fryer is also the new council's elected member for St John's, Stainburn and Great Clifton.

The leader has appointed Emma Williamson as non-statuory deputy leader, she was elected to represent Kells and Sandwith on the new authority on May 5.

Cllr Fryer’s Labour group takes control of the new Cumberland Council after they captured a majority 30 seats on Election night May 5.

Cllr Fryer said that the first meeting of the Shadow Authority was a “Momentous day for all, for people who worked hard to get us here."

The new leader said that the opposition will be disappointed that they were not in a position to take control of the council.

"For people who wanted this, they’ll be disappointed.”

He added: “I want to put public health right through the policies. I want to look at devolving decision-making right through the neighbourhood areas.”

Cllr Fryer said that the key issues he aims to address include “potholes, roads, doctors appointments, dentists. It’s going to be difficult, we’ve got to govern for all.”

READ MORE: What's next for new authorities in Cumberland and Westmorland?

Government is set to make a decision on how the fire and rescue service should be governed when the seven existing Cumbrian councils are abolished and replaced by the unitary authorities of Cumberland, and Westmorland & Furness.

A number of proposals have been made including Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall taking over governance of fire.

Alternatively, the service could be disaggregated and governed by the two councils individually in their areas.

“I want that to be a combined service right across the county. It’s obviously going to be a Government decision.”

But he said: “I think that should remain under the two local government divisions.”

After being elected leader, uncontested at the first meeting of the shadow authority, Cllr Fryer appointed his cabinet.

Cllr Lisa Brown was given a portfolio looking after corporate governance and legal of the new authority; Cllr Emma Williamson will have responsibility for children and families; Elaine Lynch for education, schools and training.

Cllr Denise Rollo was appointed as portfolio holder for environment and highways; Bob Kelly for policy strategy and performance, Chris Southward for organisations development and HR, Barbara Cannon for corporate finance; Martin Harris for adults and Anne Quilter for leisure.

READ MORE: Tories suffer rout in historic elections