Kendal Town Council

The meeting of the Culture and Communities Committee, scheduled for Monday 23 October, has been postponed. It will now be held on Monday 30 October, at 7pm, in Kendal Town Hall.

Culture and Communities Committee, 7pm Council Chamber, Kendal Town Hall

A Casual Vacancy has arisen in the Town Council’s Stonecross Ward. You can read the Notice of Casual Vacancy Stonecross 6 April 2023: 2023 is not an ordinary election year for Kendal Town Council. The next scheduled elections for the Town Council are in 2026.

The Town Council offices will be closed from 4pm Thursday 22 December 2022, to 9am Tuesday 3 January 2023. Please contact

The Town Council has a Casual Vacancy in Nether Ward, for which it intends to co-opt a member. You can read the formal notice here:Notice of Casual Vacancy Notice to Co-opt Nether Ward 9 December 2022

An application form can be found with the procedure notes below.

Co-Option Procedure Dec 2022

Kendal Town Council is calling for regulation of short-term holiday lets, which it claims are in danger of blighting the town’s historic centre and taking away much-needed affordable homes. At its meeting on Monday night, Town Councillors were unanimous in their calling on Secretary of State Michael Gove to allow local planning authorities to intervene to prevent whole neighbourhoods disappearing. Town Mayor, Doug Rathbone said, ‘members know from their own streets, the impact of too many short-term holiday lets. Where there used to be yards and rows of affordable flats and cottages for local people, now there are keyboxes and the unmistakeable traffic chaos of changeover day. We’re proud of the appeal our town has to holidaymakers, but we want to keep it special. And we need affordable places for Kendalians to live. It’s a balance, and we’re looking to government to help us maintain it.’

The Council was debating a Motion drawn up by Cllr Adam Campbell, to urge Michael Gove to adopt four new policies as he brings his Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill through parliament. These would give local planning authorities – in Kendal this means South Lakeland District Council – the power to regulate short term-holiday lets through a planning application. It would allow councils to charge more than 100% council tax on second homes, and to insist that up to 100% of dwellings in a new development are affordable to local people. A fourth proposal would allow councils to suspend a planning consent where the developer was attempting to use so-called ‘viability’ regulations for resisting affordable units.

Though Town Councillors recognised that they had limited power to exert in the planning process, they agreed that it was important to make a statement. Cllr Stephen Coleman, who chairs the Town Council’s Management Committee said, ‘having somewhere affordable to live in your home town seems like a basic necessity. It’s right that the Town Council should be calling out issues when they impact on our communities’.

The Town Council was meeting at Kendal Town Hall for the last time in 2022, but carries on through 2023,as it is unaffected by the abolition of Cumbria and South Lakeland councils and the creation of the Westmorland & Furness unitary.

Kendal Town Councillors have been mapping the impact of proposed development sites on the town’s boundaries. Responding to a consultation from South Lakeland District Council, the Town Council’s Planning Committee offered up a robust defence of the green spaces between the edge of Kendal and the surrounding villages. Chair, Cllr Doug Rathbone said, ‘our communities expect us to defend the integrity of the spaces they call home. Some of the proposed development sites for the new Local Plan just splurge across green fields, without any reference to the neighbouring communities. They don’t account for climate change, they don’t account for the pressure on local services, on water or sewerage, traffic and travel, schools or health facilities. We can and must do better than this if our town is to develop, fit for the middle of the 21st century.

Of particular concern were proposals to develop the remaining green field heights to the west of the town up to the bypass, and to ‘fill in’ the defining open spaces between urban Kendal and the rural village of Natland. Cllr Rathbone added, ‘the town is adjacent to a World Heritage Site. There is huge pressure on affordable housing, and we are all a lot more conscious of the environmental impact of different styles of development. The Town Council wants to see Kendal thrive in its existing footprint as much as possible. Any breach of the existing settlement boundaries must be for the benefit of all our residents, not just a handful of developers building generic, could-be-anywhere, poorly designed homes and neighbourhoods.’

South Lakeland District Council has been consulting on its new Local Plan for two years, with the current phase incorporating responses to a ‘Call for sites’ in which developers can nominate areas they would like to develop.

The Council has a Casual Vacancy in Nether Ward. You can read the notice. Casual Vacancy in Nether Ward 17 Nov 2022

Kendal Town Council elected a new Mayor at its Annual Meeting on 16 May. But it was outgoing Mayor Cllr Doug Rathbone who picked up the only nomination, meaning he will serve a second year in office. Supported by Deputy Mayor Cllr Julia Dunlop, also serving a second year, the Mayor was formally ‘made’ at a ceremony in the Town Hall Assembly Room on Thursday 19 May.

There were contested elections in all Kendal Town Council’s wards on 6 May 2022. You can read the results here.

There were also elections for the new ‘shadow’ unitary authority of Westmoland and Furness, which will replace South Lakeland District Council, Eden District Council, Barrow Borough Council and Cumbria County Council on 1 April 2023. You can see the results of that election here.

Cumbria County Council and South lakeland District Council will remain as working authorities until April 2023, with their existing membership serving extended terms of office until then.