Readers have been giving their views after Carlisle city councillors were asked to get behind proposals to split local politics in two, breaking Carlisle, Eden and Allerdale away from the rest of the county.

This would see Workington and Whitehaven belonging to different councils – Workington as part of north Cumbria with Carlisle and Penrith, and Whitehaven as part of south Cumbria, with Kendal and Barrow.

The move comes to address the Government’s desire to see new councils covering a population as close to 300,000 as possible. Keeping within Cumbria’s existing boundaries, this involves splitting the county in two, either into east and west or north and south.

Steve Cowles said: “I believe we would end up worse off as a result of this. We would be very distant from the largest population centre and could potentially end up subsidising it. Better bet to put us in the West and move Barrow back to Lancashire.”

Ian Doyle said: “So they are not keen on a East/West split as it would make the West into the economic powerhouse? Surely a North/South split would leave Whitehaven out in the cold with a Northern powerhouse. Whitehaven is not in the south of the county and would surely have little in common with Barrow, Millom and Kendal?

Les Hanley said: “It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, Copeland would always be in “no man’s land”. Geographically, it’s isolated and too far away from the major centres of population. The health situation clearly demonstrates this.”

Mike Hawkins thought: “The only sensible option is one unitary authority for Cumbria on the county council’s boundaries as they are now. One set of officers one set of councillors.”

Graham Minshaw agreed: “Unitary for the whole county with the county strengthened by having the population and clout to influence future devolution settlements. Splitting the county into petty portions will lead to nothing but irrelevance.”