A BID to use the power of the courts to halt Local Government Reorganisation has been refused.

Cumbria County Council submitted an application to launch a legal challenge against the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities in 2021.

The Labour leadership of the county council opposed Westminster's decision to split Cumbria into two authority areas as they believe it was unlawfully done to serve the political agenda of the Conservative Government.

But a letter seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service today confirmed that permission has been refused for a judicial review.

It ordered the county council to pay the Secretary of State's legal costs of £15,223.41 and a £7,500 contribution to the western councils and eastern councils respectively.

Cumbria County Council's leader felt that the public have not been consulted enough on the decision to abolish all seven of the existing authorities and replace them with two new councils: Westmorland & Furness Council in the east and Cumberland Council in the west.

But in his letter of refusal, High Court Judge Stephen Davies said that this was "not reasonably arguable."

He said: "In such circumstances I accept the Secretary of State's submission that it is not even arguable that there was a requirement for further consultation based on the implications of the change in policy intimated by the Prime Ministerial statement."

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: “We can confirm we have now had a response from the High Court Judge in relation to the judicial review.

"Permission to pursue the judicial review has been refused, we are obviously very disappointed by this decision and we are now considering our next steps."