Allerdale council faces significant challenges in the years to come as it battles to become self-sufficient, a leading councillor has warned.

The forecast from council leader Marion Fitzgerald came as the Independent-Conservative administration set out its 10-year vision against a background financial uncertainty.

The executive has agreed to endorse the draft strategy, which has been recommended for approval when it is considered by the full council on Wednesday, December 11.

The draft blueprint for the borough’s future provides the framework for all the council’s activities between 2020 and 2030, setting out the authority’s top priorities.

Among the aims is for the council to become self-sufficient by 2030, a move which comes in response to an ever-diminishing pool of government cash awarded to local authorities nationwide.

Allerdale council has also pledged to work more closely with its partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors in a bid to avoid duplication and cut costs.

Explaining the importance of the document, Councillor Fitzgerald said it helped the council to focus efforts on areas where it could make best use of its resources.

But, she added: “We have recognised that the council faces significant challenges over the coming years and that consistency of purpose and focus will be essential to address those challenges over a number of years – not just the next three or four.

“We have set out an objective in the draft strategy to be self-sufficient by 2030 and by having a 10-year council strategy we can retain focus on that.

“In putting this strategy together, executive members have worked together to develop the priorities and objectives that we believe will help to make Allerdale a place where our communities can thrive.”

The document is the result of consultation with councillors, members, staff and the wider public.

The draft strategy includes several key priorities including the creation of a financially-secure council, the provision of outstanding local services, helping towns and villages and the encouraging a cleaner, greener Allerdale.

Coun Fitzgerald said: “These priorities are about making sure the council is on a sound financial footing; ensuring we deliver high-quality services; making sure our neighbourhoods are clean and tidy as well as addressing wider environmental issues; supporting our towns as key service centres for all of our communities; taking action to ensure we have the right homes in the right places; supporting our communities to be healthy and active; and investing to support businesses so there are good employment opportunities to keep people in, and attract people to, Allerdale.

“We also recognise that only through collaborating with others will we achieve our ambitions for our area, and we are keen to work with others to build positive partnerships with the people and communities we serve – and with our partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors”.

A delivery plan is now being developed which will provide a more detailed action plan and performance targets, setting out how the council hopes to achieve these ambitions.

It is also due to go out to public consultation.