Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all public authorities are required to:

  • adopt and maintain a publication scheme
  • publish information in accordance with the scheme

The scheme commits Cumbria County Council:

  • to proactively publish, or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information which is held by the council
  • to specify the information which is held by the council and falls within the classes below
  • to provide guidance on how the specified information can be identified and accessed
  • to review and update the specified information
  • to produce a schedule of any fees charged for access to information

Most of the information made available by the council will be subject to copyright in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Unless otherwise stated the copyright owner will be Cumbria County Council.

You are free to use any information supplied to you by the council for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes. The information may also be used for any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the information in analogue or digital form, including on the internet, will require the permission of the copyright owner. Where the copyright owner is Cumbria County Council you will need to make an application under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation you must apply to the owner to obtain their permission.

Unless a statutory fee applies, most information will be provided free of charge. For instance, information available on the council's website www.cumbria.gov.uk can be downloaded free of charge. However, on some occasions it is necessary to charge a fee. FOIA legislation allows a charge to be made for disbursements i.e. photocopying, postage, etc. The council will not comply with a request where it will exceed the appropriate limit set out by The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Council Constitution

The Council's Constitution consists of a number of documents that, under the Local Government Act 2000, are required to be brought together and made available for public inspection. The articles of the constitution set out the basic principles that underline the way the council operates.

Council Structure

There are a number of ways you can find out about the council structure:

Location and Opening Times of Council Properties

Details of opening times and location of council offices can be found in the 'How to Contact Us' section.

Currently Elected Councillors' Details and Contact Information

Details of all the County Councillors, including contact details, wards, committee membership and annual declarations of interest, can be found in the Find Your Councillor section of the website.

Departmental Customer Services - Details and Contacts

Contact details can be found by clicking the Contact Us tab on the homepage of customer-facing departments including: Adult Social Care, Public HealthChildren and Families, Highways, Emergencies and Your SafetyEnvironment and Planning, Libraries and Archives, Your Community and Doing Business with the Council.

Election Information and Results

All the latest county council election results can be found on the Elections section of the website.

Relationships with Other Authorities

To provide you with the widest range of services, Cumbria County Council works alongside and in partnership with a range of organisations including District Councils, Parish and Town Councils and the Voluntary Sector. New Strategic Partnerships are constantly being developed to drive the economic development of both rural and urban communities in Cumbria. More information can be found on the Who we work with section of the website.

Financial Information about Projected and Actual Income, Expenditure, Procurement, Contracts, Financial Audit, Financial Statements, Budgets and Variance Reports

It is important for the council to allow the public to see where money is being spent. The Finance homepage contains a large amount of financial information including: Statement of Accounts and the council's Budget. 

Capital Programme/Spending

Details of the Capital Programme/Plan, Revenue Budget, Financial Strategies and Budget Reports for 2015-16

Spending Reviews/Financial Audit Reports - Reports and Procedures

The Audit Commission (the council's external auditors) is required to produce a report each year to those charged with governance once the audit of the council's accounts is complete.

Please see the Finance homepage and the council's Spotlight on Spend page for more information.

Members Allowances Scheme - Details and Amount Paid Annually

Members are entitled to receive an annual allowance from the council, as laid down under legislation. They may also claim expenses for any travelling, etc. that they do while performing their duties. The allowance, which Members may decline if they wish, is subject to deductions for income tax and national insurance. Details of this scheme are published once a year in the local press and are available on the website as follows: Member Allowances

Staff Allowances, Expenses, Pay Grading and Structure

Information relating to allowances, expenses and pay grading can be found in the council's Pay Policy Statement. Details of the council's senior management structure can be found on the Council Structure page.

Election Expenses - Returns/Declarations and Support Documentation

Election expenses are available for inspection at the council offices as follows: Parliamentary - for two years after the election, European - for one year after the election, County - for two years after the election, and Parish - for one year after the election.  If you wish to inspect details of expenses, please contact Member Services, Tel: 01228 226368: Email: members.service@cumbria.gov.uk. Copies of the documents can be obtained for a fee of 10p per printed side.

Procurement Procedures

Details of the council's Procurement Strategy, including e-procurement, contracts register and guidance, can be found on Corporate Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management homepage. The Procurement Strategy applies to the procurement of all goods, works and services by the council, including contractual agreements and arrangements with external organisations and consultants.

Contracts - Current Tenders Awarded

The latest Tender Opportunities can be found on the North West Local Authority Procurement Portal www.thechest.nwce.gov.uk (external link).

District Auditor Reports

The Audit Commission is responsible for publishing the Annual Governance Reports (as detailed above) and the Annual Audit and Inspection Letters in relation to the council's financial performance. Details can be found on the Finance page on our website. (Note: subsequent Governance Reports can be found on the Statement of Accounts page for the relevant financial year).

Projects and Events - Financial Statements

Financial information relating to specific projects or events can be requested by contacting: Information Governance Team, Lonsdale Building, The Courts, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8NA, Tel: 01228 221234, E-mail: information.governance@cumbria.gov.uk

Financial Regulations - Internal and External/Partnership Funding Arrangements

Details of the Financial Regulations and the Standing Orders relating to Contracts can be found in the Council's Constitution

Annual Reports

The Council Plan (together with a Delivery Plan that sits alongside it) is designed to let everyone know how Cumbria County Council will make a positive difference to the lives of the people and communities it serves. Previous Plans are also available.

Information Governance is a key aspect of the Council's overall corporate governance arrangements, and can be described as the set of overarching policies, procedures, processes and controls implemented by the Council to manage information, and support the Council's immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk, environmental and operational requirements.  The Information Governance Team reports to the Audit and Assurance Committee on an annual basis on key performance measures, thereby enabling members to maintain oversight of performance.


Details of the council's major strategies can be found on the Key Plans and Strategies page.

Business Plans (Service Based)

Each service area publishes various policies and strategies which are available to download from the relevant Directorate website.

Strategies Developed in Partnership with Other Authorities

The Cumbria Strategic Partnership (external link) (CSP) is the countywide partnership in Cumbria which brings together partners representing the public, private and third sector organisations in Cumbria. It is responsible, on behalf of the county council, for developing a Sustainable Community Strategy and for developing and implementing the Local Area Agreement. All the council's key policies and strategies can be found on the Key Plans and Strategies homepage.

Economic Development Action Plan

The council's Economic Development Strategy focuses on business support services, maximising funds for regeneration and co-ordinating inward investment and development. The Regeneration Support Team is a partner-led organisation embedded within the Regeneration Unit of Cumbria County Council's Community, Economy and Environment Department (CE and E). For more information visit the Regeneration Support Team page.

Forward Plan

The Forward Plan is a list of key decisions that the Cabinet expects to take in the near future. The Forward Plan is updated following the closure of the call-in period after each Cabinet meeting.

Capital Strategy

The Capital Programme and other financial information can be found in the Publication Scheme under the class What We Spend and How We Spend It.

Local Area Agreements (LAA)

The Cumbria Agreement is the name of the Local Area Agreement (LAA) for the county. The Cumbria Agreement is a 3 year plan that sets out key improvement targets for Cumbria. Achievement of these targets will reflect significant progress towards achieving the long-term vision and outcomes agreed in the Cumbria Community Strategy 2008 - 2028. The Cumbria Agreement is developed and delivered through the Cumbria Strategic Partnership (CSP). The Cumbria Strategic Partnership (CSP) is the countywide partnership in Cumbria which brings together partners representing public, private and third sector organisations. It is responsible, on behalf of the county council, for developing and implementing the Cumbria Community Strategy and the Cumbria Agreement.

Impact Assessments

An Equality Impact Assessment is a risk assessment we carry out to make sure that we are being fair to all groups. Every unit in the county council has to carry out an Equality Impact Assessment and to demonstrate how they are addressing the findings. For more information visit the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) page

Timetable of Council Meetings

You can find out the dates of publicly accessible committee meetings in the Council Diary and on the Council Meetings webpage.

Agendas, Officers' Reports, Background Papers and Minutes of Council Committee, Sub Committee and Standing Forum Meetings

Agendas, officers' reports and minutes of past meetings are available on the Council Meetings webpage.

Major Policy Proposals and Decisions

The Council Plan sets out the council's ambitions for the short medium and long term and how these will be delivered. The Plan:

  • brings together in one place our key priorities
  • provides a clear focus to our work
  • is used to communicate what is important to staff and partners
  • is supported by aligning the budget so that we have the resources to deliver

The county council makes the most important decisions. Other decisions are taken either by the Cabinet or one of the six local committees. The agenda, minutes and reports for these meetings, from June 2001, are available on the Council Meetings pages. You will also find information about Overview and Scrutiny Committees.  You can find out what "key decisions" will be taken at future meetings by looking at the Forward Plan.  If you want to ask a question, present a petition, or lead a deputation at one of the council's Meetings our Public Participation Scheme sets out how to do this.  Further information can be found at Your Community.

Overview and Scrutiny

Overview and Scrutiny is a new way of working introduced by the Local Government Act 2000. Scrutiny is about the relationship and balance of power between the Executive and the rest of the county council. The role of overview and scrutiny can be seen as a watchdog on the business of the council.

Public Consultation

The council consults with a wide range of people and groups on a wide range of issues. These pages keep you up to date with these consultations, their findings and what is happening as a result. We want to be at the forefront in involving individuals and communities in all aspects of our work. For more information go to the Have Your Say and Your Community pages.

Criteria Guidance and Instructions

If access to internal instructions, manuals and guidelines for dealing with the business of the council will help the public understand how decisions are made, these will be made available. Information that might damage the council's operations will not be published.

Council Conduct - Policies and Procedures

The Council's Constitution sets out how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.

Service Delivery - Policies and Procedures

Policies relating to each service area are available to download from the service pages on the council's website.

Recruitment and Employment - Policies and Procedures

The council has developed an online job application system. Full details of all current job vacancies, guidance to assist candidates, online application forms and details of the return to work programme are available on the Jobs and Careers page. The policy of the council is to provide services fairly to all sections of the community and to give fair treatment to its employees and service users regardless of their age, gender, disability, marital status, race/national origin, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. For more information, go to the Equality and Diversity in Cumbria page on this website.

Customer Services - Standards, Policies and Procedures

Cumbria County Council is committed to providing high-quality services to the people of Cumbria. Your feedback is essential and we welcome your comments, compliments and complaints as these help us to review and develop our services. By making your views known, you can help us achieve the highest possible standards and provide a better service to everyone.  More information can be found on the Comments Compliments and Complaints page.

Charging Fees - Policies and Procedures

Most of the information the council provides does not incur a fee. For example, information on this website can be downloaded free of charge. The council has an Access to Information Charging Policy that provides details of the charges associated with supplying information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  Details of fees charged for other services can be found in the Annual Schedule of Fees and Charges (Appendix G).

Public Registers and Registers Held as Public Record

If the council is required to maintain any register and make the information in it available for public inspection, there are existing provisions covering access. The following are examples of lists and registers held by the council.

Common Land

As a Commons Registration Authority under the Commons Registration Act of 1965, Cumbria County Council is responsible for maintaining the registers of Common Land and Town or Village Greens, covering the whole of Cumbria and including areas within the two National Parks. The registers are available for public inspection, free of charge. For more information see the Commons Registration Service page.

Register of Councillors' Financial and Other Interests/Gift and Hospitality Register

The Members' Code of Conduct requires Councillors to disclose any financial or other interests they have and to record any gifts or hospitality they receive with an estimated value of at least £100 on their Annual Declaration which can be viewed on the Who is my Councillor? section on this website.

Note on searching: select the relevant councillor by name and click the Register of Members Interests link at the bottom of the page.

Environmental Registers

The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales issue permits for businesses, industry and individuals to carry out certain activities that have the potential to pollute the environment. Public Registers relating to Cumbria can be found on Environment Agency website.

Regulation and Licensing

The Trading Standards Unit deal with applications for licenses in relation to animal feeds, credit, explosives, performing animals and poisons.

Services for Local Businesses/Other Organisations

Please visit the Business section of the website to find information and advice on building control, fair-trade, digital switchover, grants and council departments.

Services for the Public

Adult Social Care is part of Cumbria County Council's Health and Care Services Directorate and deals with the council's social services responsibilities for adults and their carers. Please visit the Adult Social Care and Health homepage for more information.

From April 2013 responsibility for local public health and some public health services transferred from the NHS to the council. Public health is about preventing disease and helping people to live healthier and longer lives by providing the information and support they need to do this. More information can be found on the Public Health homepage.

Children's Services want to achieve the best for every child, young person and family in Cumbria. Our aim is to enable children and young people to stay safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. For more information please visit the Children's Services homepage.

Details of Development Control and Planning including planning policy, development control, spatial planning, countryside and landscape issues, can be found on the Environment and Planning homepage.

The council is a major employer with over 17,000 employees, offering a wide range of job opportunities from part-time and job share to full time posts with career development opportunities. Please visit the Jobs and Careers homepage for more information.

Cumbria County Council as the waste disposal authority is responsible for the disposal of household waste and for providing Household Waste Recycling Centres for householders to recycle and dispose of their waste. Cumbria's district councils are responsible for waste collection services, including weekly collections of household waste, special collections for bulky household items and the recycling of rubbish. Together the seven Cumbrian authorities make up Resource Cumbria which is Cumbria's strategic waste partnership. Our partnership website recycleforcumbria.org (external link) (external link) is your one stop shop for all recycling service information in Cumbria. For further information on the Council's activities go to Rubbish Waste and Recycling.

Our Library Service isn't just about books - if you'd rather go more hi-tech, you can book a slot on one of our PCs to surf the internet, or borrow computer games, DVDs, videos, talking books and CDs through your local library.

If you are interested in tracing your family tree or the history of your home or community please visit the Cumbria Archive Service homepage.

Cumbria County Council is working to provide you with a transport network that will meet the needs of individuals and businesses in the 21st Century. We are responsible not only for the thousands of miles of roads within Cumbria, but also footpaths, bridleways, cycleways and street lights.  We continue to work with other transport agencies, including the Highways Agency, central government, district councils and a wide range of local partners, to create a harmonious and safe transport system. Please visit the Transport and Roads homepage for more information.

Deceased Estates Information

The Estates Group within the Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor deals with persons who die without leaving a will or any entitled kin. If the deceased's last permanent address was in England and Wales, excluding the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, then the Treasury Solicitor is the Crown's nominee for dealing with the estate. Details of Unclaimed Bona Vacantia Estates in England and Wales can be found athttp://www.data.gov.uk/dataset/bona-vacantia-estates-advertisements; this will take you straight to the information you may require and includes any information about cases referred by the County Council.

Election Information

For information on electoral services, electoral registration, how to become a councillor, local elections and voting, go to the Councillors Democracy and Elections page on this website.

Chargeable Services Including Fee Payable

Most of the information the council provides does not incur a fee. For example, information on this website can be downloaded free of charge. The council has an Access to Information Charging Policy that provides details of the charges associated with supplying information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  Details of fees charged for other services can be found in the Annual Schedule of Fees and Charges (Appendix G).

Visitor Information

The Events Calendar has more information on schools, sport, arts, entertainment, culture, local history and community events.

Media Statements or Releases

News releases are available via the News Releases section.  You can also find details of the Media in Cumbria and contact the council's Media Team. In this section you can also view the interactive Events Calendar for details of community, environmental, Made in Cumbria and Neighbourhood Forum events happening around the county.