Cumbria County Council

Election 2017 Results

Party Seats 2013 Seats 2017 Change


Seats 201326 Seats 201737 Change+11


Seats 201335 Seats 201726 Change−9

PartyLiberal Democrat

Seats 201316 Seats 201716 Change-


Seats 20137 Seats 20175 Change−2
Change compared with

Latest Updates

  1. County's jobless rate drops slightly since August

    Analysis by Cumbria County Council shows the number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 260 in September, to 13,560.

    The rate fell by 0.1%, to 4.6% in the county, while the national average was unchanged at 6.5%.

    But when compared to the figures before lockdown, Cumbria's claimant count has more than doubled.

    Jobcentreplus sign
  2. Conservationists disappointed as new road gets consent

    Planners have given consent to the £144m Carlisle Southern Link Road, which will complete a ring of better roads around the city for traffic heading towards West Cumbria.

    The road is central to plans for St Cuthbert's, a "garden village" that will eventually have up to 10,000 homes, and the decision will disappoint conservationists.

    But Lorayne Wall, a planning officer for Friends of the Lake District which campaigns to preserve landscapes, says the building of what amounts to a new suburb was an opportunity to encourage cycling and public transport.

    St Cuthberts map
    Quote Message: We need to be doing things in different ways, not just working on the same models as we have been in the past, which has caused all the problems we're now trying to fire-fight against." from Lorayne Wall
    Lorayne Wall
  3. Green light expected today for Carlisle southern bypass

    The Carlisle southern link road, a bypass to the south of the city that is a key part of plans for a housing development called the St Cuthbert's Garden Village, should get its formal planning go-ahead today.

    Critics say building a new road will simply encourage more car journeys and damage the environment, but supporters say it will strengthen the economy and pave the way for new housing.

    Artist's impression of new road

    John Stevenson, the Conservative MP for Carlisle says he welcomes the investment and it isn't bad news for the environment.

    Quote Message: It will take traffic away from the city centre, the overall benefits I think are very, very significant." from John Stevenson
    John Stevenson
  4. Payday loans 'no answer to rising debt'

    People in Cumbria who are struggling to pay their bills are being warned not to resort to payday loans, with very high interest rates.

    The county's trading standards advisers say leaflets offering loans are being distributed in Cumbria, but the interest rates are so high they would make a bad situation even worse.

    Quote Message: We always advise people to steer clear of them, they're meant to be for a short term loan but they can take you into a spiral of debt that is difficult to get out of." from Will Hayhurst regulation and compliance officer
    Will Hayhurstregulation and compliance officer
  5. Health chief warns of rising coronavirus rate in Barrow

    More coronavirus restrictions could be announced for the Barrow area within the coming days, according to Cumbria's Director of Public Health, Colin Cox.

    The rate of new infections in Barrow is currently 200 for every 100,000 population, less than half that of some of the worse hit Lancashire areas, but Dr Cox says it is doubling every week.

    He says hospital admissions are about half the rate they reached in the spring, but more is now known about the consequences of the virus.

    Colin Cox
    Quote Message: Even if deaths aren't quite as bad as the first wave, we are starting to learn quite a lot about the long-term impacts of Covid-19, people talk about long Covid, people who get it, and recover but are then left with a series of debilitating symptoms for quite a long time." from Colin Cox
    Colin Cox
  6. Health chief renews 'two households' call to limit virus

    Cumbria's director of public health is again urging people not to meet in groups of more than two households.

    It comes after more than 160 coronavirus cases in the county were initially unreported last week, because of what Downing Street described as a "technical issue" caused by an IT problem.

    Most of Cumbria remains just below the England average, apart from Barrow, but Colin Cox says the updated figures show a continuing increase in Covid-19 cases and is urging people to do more to help contain the virus.

    Colin Cox
    Quote Message: Barrow continues to be the highest in Cumbria, it's sitting at 150 new cases or so per 100,000 population per week now, so still rising and still rising rapidly, twice the rate of anywhere else in the county."
  7. Extra ICU beds in Barrow 'should be ready for Christmas'

    Bob Cooper

    Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

    Extra intensive care beds in Barrow are expected to be ready by Christmas, in order to deal with any further waves of Covid-19.

    NHS officials have been updating county councillors on their plans for coping with any surge in demand for services over winter.

    Furness General Hospital

    Kate Maynard, chief operating officer at the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which runs the Furness General, told the meeting the number of beds at the hospital would go up from seven to 14.

    Quote Message: Earlier in the year we created a new area which would be available for 14 beds, it's about finishing it off, it's about putting ventilation in, at Barrow, and that's expected to be complete by Christmas." from Kate Maynard
    Kate Maynard
  8. Alston's famous cobbles 'will be relaid'

    Highways engineers say ripping up unstable cobbles which form part of a Cumbrian town's unique character, is only a temporary measure.

    Close-up of cobbles

    Five days of work start today to lift the stones on part of the main road through the town, and Cumbria County Council says they will be stored until they can be relaid.

    It's the second time the cobbles on the town's precipitously-steep Front Street have been replaced for months by a more conventional bitumen surface.

  9. Councillor says online abuse 'led me close to suicide'

    Neil Smith

    South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

    A south Cumbrian politician is urging people to be kinder online, after abuse he received when he was trying to come to terms with being sexually abused as a child led him to plan taking his own life.

    Ben Shirley

    Ben Shirley from Askam in Furness is a Conservative borough and county councillor, and acted as agent for Simon Fell who took the parliamentary seat of Barrow and Furness in the General Election.

    He says he owes his life to his wife and close friends, and to the counselling he has received from the south Cumbrian charity, the Birchall Trust, whose staff he says are an amazing group of people.

    Councillor Shirley first revealed the historic sexual abuse, and his later suicidal thoughts, during a virtual meeting of Barrow council where he backed a new campaign against online abuse.

    Quote Message: In my speech to council I made a reference to the late Caroline Flack, the torrent of social media abuse that she received was hideous and the consequences were drastic and tragic.
    Quote Message: That nearly happened to me, it happens to people up and down the country and it needs to stop." from Councillor Ben Shirley
    Councillor Ben Shirley
  10. Mine approval is not final decision

    Bob Cooper

    Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

    For the third time Cumbria County Council has approved this highly controversial mine.

    But the story does not end there.

    The council cannot issue an approval notice until the Housing and Local Government Secretary has decided whether to call the decision in.

    Robert Jenrick has the power to overrule local planning authorities.

    He has previously rejected a request to do this with respect to the west Cumbria mine.

    He is now considering new requests by campaigners to rule on the matter.

    But any move by the government to scupper the mine would not go down well with local MPs.

    Conservative MPs in seats like Copeland and Workington strongly support the mine, including Trudy Harrison, who is Boris Johnson’s right-hand woman in the Commons.

    These seats were until recently part of Labour’s “red wall”.

    It would be hard for ministers to make any decision that would anger MPs in these areas.

    But it does present a challenge to the government, which is trying to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and sell its green credentials.

    If the mine finally does get planning permission, campaigners could still try to challenge it in the courts.

  11. Councillors vote to approve coal mine in west Cumbria

    BBC Radio Cumbria

    Councillors have voted to approve a controversial coal mine in west Cumbria.

    At the development control meeting 12 of the 18 county councillors voted in favour of the proposal.

    It means the government will now have to decide whether to call the decision in and overrule the council.

  12. Controversial mine proposals discussed

    BBC Radio Cumbria

    Arguments for and against a controversial mine proposal have been aired on the day it could be approved by Cumbrian councillors.

    The company West Cumbria Mining wants to build an undersea mine off the coast near Whitehaven, which would supply coking coal for the steel industry.

    The Conservative MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison, is behind it, but opponents claim it would harm the environment.

    Although Cumbria County Council is discussing the plans today, ministers could intervene to make the final decision.

  13. Voluntary guidance published for Cumbria on social mixing

    Everybody living in Cumbria has been asked not to mix in groups made up of more than two households.

    The voluntary guidance has been issued by Cumbria County Council, in response to the local infection rate doubling in the last week.

    It's hoped that enough people stick to the recommendation, to help avoid the need for a government-enforced local lockdown.

    View more on twitter
  14. Covid-19 cases in Cumbria 'heading in wrong direction'

    The latest available figures say 105 new cases of Covid-19 were found in Cumbria in the week to 18 September, up from 82 the previous week, with 38 of them in Barrow.

    Colin Cox, Cumbria's director of public health, said the figures were "going in the wrong direction".

    Both numbers and infection rates increased in every district in the county apart from South Lakeland, and figures for Cumbria's two main hospital trusts showed a steady increase in people being admitted for treatment in the Morecambe Bay area.

    Graph showing hospital admissions
  15. Travel: Longtown bridge repairs near end

    BBC News Travel

    Cumbria highways engineers say the Esk Bridge on the A7 at Longtown is now open again for HGVs as well as lighter vehicles.

    They are hoping to remove the temporary traffic lights in two weeks' time, after eight months of work repairing parapets damaged by lorries.

  16. Half of county's staff now work from home, meeting told

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Around 3,000 of Cumbria County Council's 6,000 staff work from home, and many will never move back into the office, a meeting was told.

    The figures emerged as councillors and officials assessed how offices both home and in council buildings will start to be used as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Stephen Hall, the assistant director for economy and environment, said it was already clear that some areas would not return to the way they were before, and a debrief was necessary.

    Cumbria House, Carlisle
    Quote Message: Even now within the council, we can see how some key areas of service can be improved, so it won’t mean it’s business as usual.
    Quote Message: Things like travel post-Covid, we can predict now that we won’t need to drive as much and have as large a carbon footprint as before. We will also accelerate decisions now on how we use all our buildings.” from Stephen Hall
    Stephen Hall
  17. Coal mine demonstrators in 'semi-naked' county hall demo

    Demonstrators from Extinction Rebellion held a short "semi-naked" protest outside County Hall in Kendal yesterday, in the run-up to the meeting on Friday week when councillors will reconsider plans for a coal mine in west Cumbria.

    Semi-dressed protestors

    The campaigners say the coal should be left in the ground because burning it will contribute to climate change, and will not bring as many local jobs as developers suggest.

    In an article on the website Conservative Home this week the Copeland MP Mark Jenkinson said that because the coal would be used for steel-making, replacing supplies that are currently imported from outside Europe would emit less carbon than producing it close to the steelworks.

  18. Barrow's climbing Covid-19 spread worries health chief

    Cumbria's director of public health says stopping the spread of coronavirus in Barrow is challenging, because it's come into the town as a number of separate case, rather than spreading from one or two individuals.

    Earlier this summer, after suffering high numbers of cases and fatalities earlier in the year, Barrow went for weeks with barely any Covid-19 infections, but now the rate of increase is worrying the county's public health team.

    Colin Cox says that as well as observing the rule of six, people should not gather in groups coming from more that two households, to avoid more stringent restrictions being imposed.

    Colin Cox
    Quote Message: When there's not a single outbreak going on, but a number of different routes of transmission it becomes more difficult to see where it's coming from and to stop it spreading." from Colin Cox
    Colin Cox