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The district and council fast facts

About our district

Geography

  • South Lakeland covers an area of 600 square miles with a variety of landscape features including mountains, fells, lakes, tarns, valleys, pastureland, estuary and coastline
  • there are four main urban areas Kendal, Ulverston, Windermere and Grange over Sands
  • large parts of the district fall within two national parks the Lake District National Park (49 per cent of the land area) and the Yorkshire Dales National Park (14 per cent)
  • the district is divided into 45 electoral wards

Population

  • the resident population is 103,500 (June 2012), but this is increased considerably by national and international visitors. (ONS)
  • 33% of the population is aged over 60 compared with the national average of 23 per cent. (ONS)
  • the 60 to 64 year old age range has the highest number of residents. Nationally, the most common age range is 45 to 49 years old. (ONS)
  • in 2011 20 per cent of the South Lakeland population were retired. This is compared to 14 per cent for England. (Census 2011)
  • the district has low numbers of resident ethnic minority groups, although this is increased by visitors to the area.  In 2011, 0.6 per cent of residents were Mixed/Multiple Ethnic, 0.8 per cent Asian or Asian British, and 0.2 per cent Black or Black British. This is 1.6 per cent altogether, compared to 14.6 per cent nationally. (Census 2011)
  • there has been a population gain of 1,100 in South Lakeland between June 2002 and June 2012. In the same time period there has been a reduction in the number of under 16 year olds in the area and an increase in the number of over 60 year olds. (ONS)

Economy

  • 83% of the working age population in South Lakeland are economically active. 1 in 4 of those in employment are self-employed. (Nomis 2013)
  • the average weekly pay by residence (those living in South Lakeland) is £493.30 (2013). This is higher than the North West average (£483.20) but lower than the National average of £518.10. (Nomis)
  • the average weekly pay by workforce (those working in South Lakeland) is £436.80 (2013). This is significantly lower than both the North West and National average of £480.50 and £517.80 respectively. (Nomis)
  • in March 2014 just 0.9 per cent of the working age residents in South Lakeland were claiming Job Seekers allowance. When compared to the claimant counts for both the North West (3.2%) and the UK (2.9%), this rate is significantly lower. (Nomis) 

Employment

Employment by Industry (ONS 2012)   (%)
Energy and Water  1
Manufacturing  10
Construction  5
Services (all)  84
Service:  Wholesale and Retail  19
Service:  Transport  3
Service:   Accommodation and Food Services  19
Service:   Information and Communication  2
Service:   Finance and Business Services  12
Service:   Public Administration, Education and Health  23
Service:  Other (including Art, Entertainment and Recreation)  7

There are 5,880 VAT/PAYE based business enterprises in South Lakeland (2013). There has been a reduction in the number of businesses since 2009 of 5 per cent. (ONS)

Housing

  • in March 2011, the district had 53,422 dwellings. Of these, 87 per cent had at least one usual resident, while 13 per cent had no usual residents (i.e. Second/Holiday homes or vacant). (Census 2011)
  • the average property price in South Lakeland is £196,326. This is compared to the national average of £164,119. (CACI PayCheck 2013)
  • the current average property price is the lowest it has been for the past 5 years in the district. (CACI PayCheck 2013)
  • 73% of the 46,552 households in South Lakeland are owned either outright or with a mortgage. 14 per cent are rented from a private landlord/letting agency, while 10 per cent are socially rented (South Lakes Housing). (Census 2011)
  • more than one in five South Lakeland households (23%) are living in fuel poverty. A household is considered to be fuel poor if it needs to spend more than 10% of income on fuel (electric/gas etc) to maintain an adequate heating and living regime. This proportion is higher than both the North West (18%) and National (15%) averages. (DECC 2011)

About our Council

We were formed in 1974 and are one of six district authorities in Cumbria, the others are:

Your councillors and the political make-up of your council.

How we operate

In 2002, following the Local Government Act 2000, the council adopted a Leader and Cabinet style decision making structure. The rules governing the way the council operates are set down in the Constitution.

All councillors meet together at full council meetings. Here, councillors decide the overall policies, set the budget each year and hold the cabinet and all committees to account.

The Cabinet is made up of seven Liberal Democrat councillors who are responsible for implementing policies and decisions. The portfolios of the cabinet members are:

Committees

As of May 2013, the council runs a 'commissioning model' of overview and scrutiny, with one main Overview and Scrutiny Committee made up of twelve councillors, and a Performance Sub-Committee which has a membership of six. Both committees meet quarterly and there is an additional meeting of the main committee in January of each year to consider the draft Council Budget

You can view more details on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

A number of other committees deal with specific areas of council business. These include: Planning, Licensing, Accounts, Audit, Human Resources, Lake Admin and Standards. 

Structure

Political group leaders are:

  1. Liberal Democrat:  Councillor Giles Archibald 
  2. Conservative: Councillor Ben Berry
  3. Labour: Councillor Mark Wilson

Chief Executive: Lawrence Conway.

You can view the management structure of South Lakeland District Council.

Our vision and priorities

We agreed the new Council Plan for 2014 to 2019 on 25 February 2014, the new plan will help us become a fairer and greener council ensuring that South Lakeland is the best place to live, work and explore. 

The Council Plan for 2014 to 2019 sets out our priorities.

Our values are:

  • Valuing people
  • Excellence
  • Openness