Seismic proposals that could see a major shake-up of Cumbria's political landscape are in the process of being drawn up.

Councils in the north and west of the county say they are collaborating on plans for a unitary local authority – after Boris Johnson’s Government invited them to submit ideas on what changes to local government in the county could look like.

Any new proposals, if accepted by the Government, could be in place by April 2023.

Carlisle City Council and the district councils of Allerdale, Copeland and Eden say they are working together to identify suitable options.

Carlisle City Council leader John Mallinson said: “We want to do what’s best for our local communities and continue to provide excellent services.

“Now the dates for submission have been announced we will move swiftly to finalise our submissions within the subscribed timescales.”

Copeland's elected mayor Mike Starkie said: “I have long been an advocate of devolution for Cumbria and local government reorganisation is an important step towards this significant shift.”

Mike Johnson, deputy leader of Allerdale Council, said: “Any proposal needs to also fully accommodate the needs of the local community and put those people and businesses.”

Eden Council leader Virginia Taylor added: “We are working at speed with the other districts to prepare viable plans.

“I’m committed to securing the best outcome for residents, businesses and all stakeholders.

“So, the make-up of any new authority will incorporate an aim of securing better services and inward investment, while retaining local accountability and decision-making.”

Other authorities invited to submit their own proposals are Barrow-in-Furness Council, South Lakeland Council and Cumbria County Council.