POLITICAL figures in Allerdale have revealed their picks for the biggest talking points of 2022.

From Levelling-Up and Covid-19 to the reorganisation of Cumbria's councils, the new year is set to be a busy one for the elected politicians.

Leader of Allerdale Borough Council Mike Johnson named local government reform as "the main focus for the councils in Cumbria on top of normal day to day business.

"We've got the actual document being passed through Parliament, the Structural Change order in January-February when they come into legal force.

"We've got to get the joint committees set up and then we've got the elections in May."

Cllr Johnson said that regeneration projects in Workington and Maryport will also be a key focus this year.

The Conservative leader said that whether or not Allerdale should host GDF - an underground nuclear waste disposal facility, will also be a key issue.

"We've still got a nuclear legacy to deal with, whether it sits above ground or below, it's still got to be dealt with."

Although there is a lot at play, Cllr Johnson said that he is motivated for the year ahead.

"Every day can be a challenge. You can please some people some of the time but not all people all of the time. There's one thing, Mike Johnson likes a challenge."

Leader of Allerdale Council's Labour group Alan Smith said: "I think Covid-19 is going to be a problem for the next months.

"I think locally and nationally, the politicians have got to get their heads around it and find a way of managing it."

Cllr Smith also named the elections for the new authorities as a key political talking point.

"It's going to be a thing for Cumbria."

Cllr Smith pointed out when Carlisle, Allerdale and Copeland are governed by one Cumberland Council, regions will have less councillors so there will be more focus on those elected.

"You'll have one councillor that does everything. They can't pass the book once the new unitary comes in."

The Labour group leader said that 2022 is crunch time for the Government's Levelling-Up plans.

"The area's crying out for investment. If the sports stadium went ahead, that could have been the catalyst for revitalising that area."

The county's Green Party has set out six issues that it believes need to be tackled in 2022: housing, transport and the future of politics in the region under the new unitary authorities.

As well as climate change, GDF and recovery from the pandemic.

A spokesperson for the Greens said: "The UK continues to hold the COP presidency going into next year. We need to make sure climate stays at the top of agenda and that means leading by example and not investing in fossil fuels but renewable energy instead. The proposed coal mine in Cumbria must not go ahead."

They said that the Geological Disposal Facility does not fit in with the climate agenda.

"Nuclear waste is a concern and we risk becoming the nuclear dumping ground of the UK if the proposed GDF site goes ahead without transitional arrangements away from nuclear energy."