Plans for a Commons Council for Cumbria are moving forward
Many of you took part in the consultation earlier this year on how a proposed Cumbria Commons Council would work - its functions, rules and costs. These proposals can be found below.
Commoners and landowners from 15 of the largest commons have voted by a substantial majority for a council with the powers to make legally binding rules on all those using the common for agricultural purposes. This will help improve the grazing and vegetation management on their common.
The commons associations that voted yes are: Bampton & Askham; Baugh Fell; Birkbeck; Black and White Coombe; Buttermere & Derwent; Deepdale; Kentmere; Langstrath & Coombe; Matterdale; Middleton; Moorhouse; Mungrisdale; St John’s; Tebay and Watermillock
Over the winter we will prepare the case, also called an establishment order, to submit to the Secretary of State for Defra. The establishment order needs to state which commons (Common Land units) will be the founder members of the council. This means asking the 15 commons mentioned above to indicate that they still support the council. We have contacted all Chairmen who have agreed to put it on the agenda of their annual meeting and take a vote. We have also contacted the Chairmen of the commons associations who returned a borderline vote, to see if they wish to re-vote.
It is not too late to join the commons council
We also welcome other commons association not already involved to come on board as all commons are eligible join the council. In fact some commons who were not involved in the first round are having meetings over the winter to discuss this issue. If your common doesn’t join now, the guidance from Defra states that you will have to wait another 3-5 years to join. This is because a new establishment order is needed each time new commons join the council.