Four Cumbrian Conservative MPs have written to a minister to give their views on local government reform in the county.
Simon Fell, Trudy Harrison, Mark Jenkinson and John Stevenson have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick.
Mr Jenrick has issued formal invitations to principal councils in Cumbria to submit proposals for moving to a single layer of local government.
The deadline for these submissions is December 9.
The MPs said local government reform was long overdue in the county and outlined their support for two unitary authorities in Cumbria.
They said they would provide the right balance of population size and economies of scale and take into account the practicalities of the county’s economy and geography.
The MPs said that they also supported the formation of a mayoral combined authority for Cumbria, giving a single individual responsibility for leadership and strategic planning countywide.
Mr Jenkinson said: “Local Government reform is long overdue and I am pleased that Conservative MPs in Cumbria are agreed that two unitary authorities would best serve our county.
“We all want to see Cumbria succeed and local government reform will create a sustainable structure under which our county can have clear, local representation whilst at the same time streamlining public services and reducing the financial burden on residents.”
Mrs Harrison said: “Local Government in Cumbria has remained unchanged since its inception in 1974. It is clearly the case that our residents require effective, transparent and accountable government.
“This has never been more certain than in the situation that our county and country now finds itself in.
It is critical that we are in the driving seat for COVID recovery and apply maximum effectiveness which has not been possible under the current system which is patently not fit for purpose.”
Mr Fell said: ““There is a huge opportunity for Cumbria in reforming local government – putting decisions and decisionmakers closer to those who elect them, making it more efficient, and reducing the burden on taxpayers.
“For Barrow and South Lakes, and Cumbria as a whole, these reforms should leave us far better off and are very welcome.”
Mr Stevenson said: “Local Government reform is very important to the future governance of Cumbria.
“Two unitary authorities, with a combined authority led by an elected mayor, will ensure that there is proper leadership in our county and a more streamlined public service for residents.
“Such reforms will go a long way to giving our county a greater voice nationally and that is to be welcomed.”