THE idea of a single council – or unitary authority – for the whole of Cumbria has disaster written all over it.
It should be a non-starter; an idea which is thrown out from the outset.
There are few counties in England which are as diverse, in geography, industry and social make-up, as Cumbria.
From nuclear and wind power in the west, to tourism and outdoor pursuits in the Lakes, to shipbuilding in Barrow, there are simply too many different agendas to serve, for one body to be able to be effective.
How much would someone based in Carlisle, care about the plight of residents on a housing estate in Barrow. Not much, is probably the answer.
We have an existing model of local democracy which works just fine.
And although residents may not always agree with the decisions made by their local councils, they are, at least, local. There may be slight modifications which would make for a smoother political system. But a wholesale revamp should be wiped off the agenda.
SOME animal rights campaigners might be kicking up a stink about the like of skunks and raccoons being sold in a new Barrow pet store – but you can’t fault the entrepreneurial spirit of owner, Vicky Frederick.
She is offering something truly unique to the people of the town, and if she trades in a responsible way – as it appears she does – then surely we must encourage the latest addition to Barrow’s shopping experience.
A skunk or squirrel may not be everyone’s idea of a pet – but they certain add an extra dimension to what is already out there.
Published: June 8, 2012
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