The deputy leader of Barrow Borough Council has pledged his support for the planned merger of councils across Morecambe.

Earlier this month, leaders from Barrow Borough Council, Lancaster City Council and South Lakeland District Council submitted a proposal to the Government for a new unitary authority in the Morecambe Bay area.

This will see the three council combine to form a new unitary authority.

Cllr Lee Roberts believes that The Bay proposal would build on the three council’s existing economic partnership.

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The Parkside councillor said: “We have already been working with Lancaster City Council and South Lakeland District Council as a functioning economic region and we have got the evidence to prove it.

“It will also give a better opportunity to make a lasting and profound difference in health and inequality and climate change and make sure that economic investment reaches people who traditionally don’t feel the benefits.

“Looking at our relationship we think it would be better than the other options.”

In September, Cumbria County Council also submitted a proposal to the Government, which suggested the creation of a single unitary authority for the whole county.

Despite its endorsement from Cumbria County Council leader Stewart Young, Cllr Roberts believes that Barrow would benefit more from a Morecambe Bay unitary authority.

“A lot of services are currently delivered as a single Cumbria footprint and the decision making is a long way away from Barrow and South Lakeland," he said.

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“Cumbria has got so many different types of communities and problems. there is not a lot of consistency in the work that needs to be done here.

“It is too big to have a local voice affecting local decisions. Cumbria County Council have done some brilliant work but to take away that layer of local democracy from what we have got now we feel would be too big and too remote.”

The Labour councillor said a Morecambe Bay council would put residents at “the heart of service delivery.”

The three councils have until December 9 to propose a business case to the Government.

Barrow Borough Council are calling on residents to complete a survey on their proposal.

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