Westmorland and Furness
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||North West England|
|• Body||Westmorland and Furness Council|
|• Chairman||Matthew Severn|
|• Leader||Jonathan Brook|
|• Land||1,449 sq mi (3,753 km2)|
|• Density||155.5/sq mi (60.1/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)|
Westmorland and Furness is a district and unitary authority area in Cumbria, England. The economy is mainly focused on tourism around both the Lake District and Cumbria Coast, shipbuilding and the port in Barrow-in-Furness, and agriculture in the rural parts of the area.
The council area formed on 1 April 2023, on the abolition of Cumbria County Council; at county level, there is no longer any administrative function. The council covers the areas formerly served by the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, Eden, and South Lakeland, which also ceased to function. It includes all of the area of the historic county of Westmorland as well as the Furness district of historic Lancashire. It also incorporates a very small part of historic Yorkshire, together with about a quarter of the area of (but only 10% of the population of) the historic county of Cumberland. The other part of the former county of Cumbria, to the north and west, forms the new district of Cumberland.
The first elections to the new authority took place in May 2022, with the Westmorland and Furness Council acting as a 'shadow authority' until the abolition of the three former districts and Cumbria County Council on 1 April 2023.
Elections to Cumbria County Council were due to take place in May 2021; however, they were postponed for one year by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government due to a consultation on local government reorganisation in the area. In July 2021, the government announced that the current authorities in Cumbria would be abolished and replaced with two unitary authorities, with an east/west split of the county.
Opponents of the reorganisation claimed that the proposal was being pursued to benefit the electoral prospects of the Conservative Party. Cumbria County Council, which would be abolished under the plans, sought judicial review to prevent the reorganisation from taking place. The judicial review was refused by the High Court in January 2022. Draft statutory instruments to bring about local government reorganisation in Cumbria were subsequently laid before parliament. The Cumbria (Structural Changes) Order 2022 (2022 No. 331) was made on 17 March 2022, and came into force the following day.
The name of the unitary authority derives from the county of Westmorland and the peninsula of Furness. Westmorland was previously an administrative county until it was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 and became part of the new county of Cumbria. Furness was part of the administrative county of Lancashire until 1974; together with the Cartmel Peninsula, it formed an exclave of that county, historically part of the Lonsdale Hundred of Lancashire known as North Lonsdale or Lancashire North of the Sands. In addition to those areas, the district includes part of the historic county of Cumberland in the Penrith area and an area centred on Sedbergh, which was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.
|Local authority||In relation to the district|
|North Yorkshire||South east|
|City of Lancaster||South|
Westmorland and Furness Council has 65 councillors, and the first election to the local authority was in May 2022. At that election the Liberal Democrats secured a majority on the incoming council with 36 out of 65 councillors. Labour have 15 councillors, the Conservatives have 11 councillors, the Green Party have 1 councillor and 2 councillors were elected as independents.
|Green Party of England and Wales||1|
Westmorland and Furness, together with neighbouring Cumberland, constitute a ceremonial county named "Cumbria" for the purpose of lieutenancy and shrievalties, being presided over by a Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria and a High Sheriff of Cumbria. Ceremonial counties do not discharge any administrative function.
Police services are provided by Cumbria Constabulary and fire services by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service. These are both overseen by the Cumbria Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
|Dalton-in-Furness||Dalton, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Kendal|| Killarney, Ireland|
|Penrith||Penrith, New South Wales, Australia|
|Windermere||Diessen am Ammersee, Germany|
The West Coast Main Railway Line runs through the district, with a stations at Penrith and Oxenholme. Services on the line are provided by Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express. The Northern Settle–Carlisle line also runs through, with stations at Armathwaite, Lazonby, Langwathby, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen, Garsdale and Dent. Other lines in the district include the Cumbrian Coast (the line terminate at Barrow-in-Furness), Furness (to Lancaster) and Lakes (which runs through Kendal).
Roads through the district include the M6 motorway, the A6 and the A66.