Working Together

New `Working Together` scheme aims to empower local communities

Working Together is a new county council run service which has been developed to support and empower communities, namely parish and town councils, to work on making improvements and undertaking maintenance activities within their local area. 

Cllr Keith Little, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

"The new Working Together project is all about helping to support our local communities to enhance their local areas in different ways. Cumbria has a long standing tradition when it comes to community spirit - evidenced recently during the aftermath of Storm Desmond and the Beast from the East, and I am delighted that the council is investing in services that enable local community groups to take the lead in low-risk and small-scale activities for the benefit of their friends, neighbours and fellow residents."

The service will be focusing on offering two clearly defined partnership agreements to first allow parish and town councils to employ an authorised 'person' to undertake agreed work on the highway categorised as low to medium risk activities. The second will enable communities to undertake low risk volunteer activities, with support and supervision from Cumbria County Council.

The activities included within these arrangements will be risk assessed to provide safety for all involved, in particular members of the public, volunteers and lengthsmans employed by the parish and town councils.

  • Maintaining ditches
  • Cleaning channels
  • Clearing outfalls
  • Rodding pipes (off highways)
  • Cleaning leaves from gully grate
  • Cleaning signs (non illuminated)
  • Painting signs  
  • Removing vegetation
  • Grass cutting
  • Sweeping
  • Litter picking
  • Removing flyposting
  • Graffiti Removal
  • Cleaning bus shelters
  • Verge maintenance
  • Weed clearance

The service has now begun to develop a number of draft trial agreements which will incorporate a varied selection of suitably risk activities within each individual agreement. Dedicated officers will work closely with each of these selected parish and town councils to build individual bespoke agreements which will be fit for purpose and will provide information required to contribute to the resource design of the service to allow it to be delivered county wide.

The outcomes of the draft trial agreements will be collated and communicated in due course and will assist in providing a fully functioning service county wide.

To express an interest to this exciting new service, please email: workingtogether@cumbria.gov.uk


Questions and answers

Working Together has been established to provide support and structure to communities wanting to contribute to improving their local environment.

  • Coniston Parish Council - an annual lengthsmans agreement will be developed to include a range of activities in which the parish has expressed a desire to address.
  • Longsleddale Parish Council - an annual lengthsmans agreement will be developed to establish a verge/grass cutting maintenance programme within the Parish.
  • Road maintenance programme with in newly established development LDNP/National Trust for the U5001 (UCR).
  • Develop a road maintenance programme for volunteers to undertake low risk activates to maintain Ickenthwaite U5064 and Parkamoor U5051 (UCR). 
  • Volunteers to clean and paint a bus station on Garlands Road, working alongside Carlisle City Council to highlight joint partnership and community improvements which can be made.
  • Volunteers to carry out on-going maintenance of footpaths and bridleways in the parish of Sockbridge and Tirril, following on from the development from their Community Led Plan.
Our priority it to make sure that all the checks and balances have been met so we're happy to then authorise work to be undertaken on our network, knowing that everyone involved will be kept safe.  Where possible, we will incorporate all known activities into the agreements, to formalise these activities going forward.

A dedicated Working Together Officer will work with each individual parish and town council to understand where they would like to enhance their local environment and the additional services they would like to be undertaken. From this the following agreement documents will become bespoke and created to suit their individual needs.

Provision of an experienced supervisor for the day will be available to oversee health and safety and provide support on the day. Protective personal equipment and any small tools and equipment will also be provided to allow the volunteers to undertake the agreed activity.
There is funding available to support the development of this programme and provide training to help equip individuals with basic H&S understanding and to enable everyone to stay safe.
We will be coming back to each individual parish and town council who have expressed an interest to work with us, following on from the development and creation of the draft trial agreements. To express an interest in this service, please do so by emailing workingtogether@cumbria.gov.uk