The City of Wakefield is a local government district in West Yorkshire, England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. Wakefield is the district's administrative centre. The population of the City of Wakefield at the 2011 Census was 325,837. The district includes the "Five Towns" of Normanton, Pontefract, Featherstone, Castleford and Knottingley. Other towns include Ossett, Hemsworth, South Kirkby and Moorthorpe and South Elmsall. The City and borough are governed by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Wakefield lies between Leeds and Barnsley 
City of Wakefield
Wakefield Cathedral from North Street
Wakefield shown within West Yorkshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Ceremonial county||West Yorkshire|
|• Type||Metropolitan borough, City|
|• Governing body||Wakefield Metropolitan District Council|
|• Lord Mayor||Cllr Elaine Blezard|
|• Leadership||Leader & Cabinet|
|• MPs:||Andrea Jenkyns (C),|
Yvette Cooper (L),
Mary Creagh (L),
Jon Trickett (L)
|• Total||130.7 sq mi (338.6 km2)|
|• Rank||Ranked 21st|
|• Density||2,600/sq mi (1,000/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (British Summer Time)|
|ONS code||00DB (ONS)|
In recent years, the economic and physical condition of several of the former mining towns and villages in Wakefield District have started to improve due to the booming economy of Leeds – and an increase in numbers of commuters to the city from the sub-region – and a recognition of undeveloped assets. For instance Castleford, to the North East of Wakefield is seeing extensive development and investment because of the natural asset of its outlook on to the River Aire, its easy access to the national motorway network and the availability of former mining land for house-building. In Ossett, house prices have risen from an average of £50,000 in 1998 to £130,000 in 2003.
Although unemployment was amongst the highest in the country for most of the 1980s, and 1990s, Wakefield District now has below-average unemployment. The "Wakefield East" ward had 4.7% unemployment in May 2005 (source: Office for National Statistics)—which was more than 1% higher than any other ward. The eastern half of the district remains considerably less prosperous than the western half, with several deprived wards
The district is mainly made out of old coal-mining towns, although other industries include wool, chemicals, machine tools, glass and other forms of manufacturing. Horbury is something of an anomaly in having had an iron works. When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 there were 21 pits in the district. By the time the 1984 Strike began this had decreased to 15, however it still had more collieries than any other district in the country. At the time of privatisation in November 1994, only two remained: the Prince of Wales at Pontefract, which closed in 2002, and Kellingley at Knottingley which closed in 2015 ending the industry that once dominated the district. Most of the district's pits had been very hardline during the 1984 strike.
The former Borough of Wakefield was raised to city status by letters patent in 1888. It became a county borough in 1913, taking it out of the jurisdiction of the West Riding County Council. The present boundaries were set in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, when the county borough of Wakefield merged with the West Riding municipal boroughs of Castleford, Ossett and Pontefract, the urban districts of Featherstone, Hemsworth, Horbury, Knottingley, Normanton and Stanley, along with Wakefield Rural District and parts of Hemsworth Rural District and Osgoldcross Rural District. The new metropolitan district's city status was reconfirmed by letters patent in 1974. The Council's headquarters is County Hall, originally built for the West Riding County Council and acquired by Wakefield in 1989.
The district is within a green belt region that extends into the wider surrounding counties, and is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent the cities and towns in the West Yorkshire Urban Area conurbation from further convergence, protect the identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and preserve nearby countryside. This is achieved by restricting inappropriate development within the designated areas, and imposing stricter conditions on permitted building.
The green belt surrounds the Wakefield built up area, and stretches into the wider borough, with larger outlying towns and villages such as Hollingthorpe, Walton, Netherton, Castleford, Knottingley, and Pontefract exempted from it. However, smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas such as Warmfield and Heath, Stanley Ferry, Newmillerdam, Snydale, Wintersett, and Chapelthorpe are 'washed over' by the designation. The green belt was first adopted in 1987, and the size in the borough in 2017 amounted to some 23,500 hectares (235 km2; 91 sq mi).
A subsidiary aim of the green belt is to encourage recreation and leisure interests, with rural landscape features, greenfield areas and facilities including the River Calder and valleys, the Aire and Calder navigation canal, Barnsley Canal, Walton nature reserve, Brandy Carr hill, Pugney's country park and lakes, Sandal Castle, Crigglestone Cemetery War Memorial, Crigglestone rugby club, Altofts and Stanley sports centres, several golf courses, Church of St Peter the Apostle at Kirkthorpe, Fitzwilliam Country Park, and the Stanley Ferry marina.
The district is divided into 21 wards, with each ward represented on the district's Wakefield Metropolitan District Council by three councillors. Each councillor is elected on a first past the post basis, normally for a four-year period which is staggered annually with the other councillors of that ward so that only one councillor per ward is up for election at any one time. Exceptions to this include by-elections and ward boundary changes.
|1 Ackworth, North Elmsall & Upton||Ackworth, Ackworth Central, Huntwick with Foulby & Nostell, Hessle & Hill Top, West Hardwick, Badsworth, North Elmsall, Thorpe Audlin, Wentbridge & Kirk Smeaton, Ackworth West, Upton|
|2 Airedale & Ferry Fryston||Airedale, Ferry Fryston, Townville, Fryston Village|
|3 Altofts & Whitwood||Normanton (Altofts), Normanton (Lee Brigg), Whitwood, Whitwood Mere, Roundhill, Half Acres, Normanton Industrial Estate, Featherstone North West|
|4 Castleford Central & Glasshoughton||The Potteries, Central Castleford, Wheldon Road & Lock Lane, Glasshoughton, Redhill (part), Smawthorne Estate, The Maltkilns, Healdfield Area, Cutsyke|
|5 Crofton, Ryhill & Walton||Chevet, Notton, Notton – Bleakley, Walton South, Walton North, Crofton, Ryhill, Wintersett, Havercroft with Cold Hiendley, Havercroft East|
|6 Featherstone||Featherstone Central, Featherstone East, Featherstone North West, Featherstone South, Sharlston|
|7 Hemsworth||Hemsworth South, Hemsworth East, Fitzwilliam, Kinsley, Hemsworth West, South Hiendley|
|8 Horbury & South Ossett||Horbury Bridge, Horbury Central, Horbury Junction, Horbury North, Horbury West, Ossett Low Common, Ossett South East, Storrs Hill|
|9 Knottingley||Ferrybridge, Hill Top, Knottingley South, Simpsons, Weeland, Cridling Stubbs (part)|
|10 Normanton||Newland with Woodhouse Moor, Normanton, Normanton Woodhouse, Warmfield-cum-Heath (Heath), Warmfield-cum-Heath (Warmfield), Normanton Common|
|11 Ossett||Broadowler, Flushdyke, Gawthorpe & Paleside, Headlands, Holme Lees, Ossett Central, Ossett Towngate, Ossett East, Ossett West,|
|12 Pontefract North||Castle, Park, Monkhill, Central, Nevison, Barracks' Estate|
|13 Pontefract South||Baghill, Carleton, Chequerfield, Darrington, East Hardwick, Wakefield Road, Westbourne, Wentbridge (North)|
|14 South Elmsall & South Kirkby||Moorthorpe, South Kirkby, South Elmsall|
|15 Stanley & Outwood East||St John's North, Outwood West, Bottomboat, Lake Lock, Newton Hill East, Outwood (Leeds Road), Stanley, Newmarket Lane, Stanley Lee Moor, Lofthouse Gate, Lofthouse|
|16 Wakefield East||Heath View, Northgate, St Swithuns, Windhill, Pinders Heath, Belle Vue, Greenhill, Northgate South, Primrose Hill, Portobello, Northgate North, Stanley Marsh|
|17 Wakefield North||Plumpton, Peacock, St John's East, St John's West, West Alverthorpe Central, Westgate Common, Silcoates, Kirkgate, Alverthorpe North, Newton Bar, Whitehall Rise, Batley Road, Flanshaw|
|18 Wakefield Rural||Crigglestone, Durkar, Hall Green, Newmillerdam, Painthorpe, Middlestown, Netherton, West Bretton, Woolley East, Woolley (Haigh Hill), Woolley West, Calder Grove|
|19 Wakefield South||Agbrigg South, Kettlethorpe, Sandal Castle, Sandal Woodthorpe, Agbrigg North, Belle Vue, Milnthorpe|
|20 Wakefield West||Snapethorpe & Roundwood, West Alverthorpe South, Calder, Kirkgate South, Lupset East, Lupset East Central, Snapethorpe South, Lupset West Central, Westgate Central, Westgate North, Westgate South, Lupset Park, Roundwood, Wakefield Road|
|21 Wrenthorpe & Outwood West||Kirkhamgate, West Alverthorpe North, Gentian Court, Newton Hill West, Carr Gate, Outwood (Ledger Lane), Outwood North, Lingwell Gate, Wrenthorpe, Silcoates|
|Party||Seats||Current Council (2014)|
The city was the safest Labour council in England in 2003, but there was a short-lived swing against Labour in recent years. After the 2008 election results the Labour Party had a majority of just one. However the death of Labour councillor Graham Phelps meant that the authority was for a time in no overall control. Labour did however, hold the seat in the by-election in January 2010 restoring their majority.
In the May 2010 local elections Labour held all of their seats and made a net gain of one seat from the Independents increasing Labour's majority on the Council to three. Following the defection of an Independent to Labour, Labour's majority was increased to 5. In January 2011 a Conservative Councillor defected to become an independent Councillor, leaving the Tories with 23 seats.
In May 2011 Labour increased their majority on the council to 15 making 5 gains, taking 3 seats from the Conservatives (Horbury and South Ossett, Pontefract South and Wrenthorpe and Outwood West), and 2 from the Independents (Featherstone and South Elmsall and South Kirkby). The Conservatives gained Ossett from the Liberal Democrats, which means there are no Liberal Democrat councillors in Wakefield.
The current Council make up is Labour 54, Conservatives 6, UKIP 2 and 1 Independent following the 2014 local elections held in May 2014.
The city district is home to three professional rugby league clubs, the Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers who both play in the Super League and Featherstone Rovers who play in the Kingstone Press Championship. All three have had periods of success. The city also has several amateur rugby league clubs including Featherstone Lions and Normanton Knights. Current England rugby league internationals from the area include; Tom Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Zak Hardaker, and Brett Ferres. Wakefield is also home to Frickley Athletic association football club who play in Northern Premier League Premier Division, the highest level football club in the Wakefield region, based in South Elmsall.
A decision was made, in 2004, to transfer the district's extensive council housing to Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), an 'independent' housing association, who would be more efficient with repairs and maintaining decent accommodation; as council housing represented almost 30% of the district, this was the second-largest stock transfer in British history. WDH are investing over £700 million to regenerate the District and working with partners, such as WMDC, are investing in new housing within the District.
Airedale is a geographic area in Yorkshire, England, corresponding to the river valley of the River Aire.
The valley stretches from the river's origin in Aire Head Springs, Malham which is in the Yorkshire Dales, down past Skipton on to Keighley, Bingley and Shipley through to Leeds and Castleford and on to join the River Ouse at Airmyn.
This valley is of great topographic significance as it provides low-altitude passes through the mid Pennines to the west coast known as the Aire Gap.Castleford
Castleford is a town in the metropolitan borough of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It had a population of 40,210 at the 2011 Census. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, to the north of the town centre the River Calder joins the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation.
The town is the site of a Roman settlement. Within the historical Castleford Borough are the suburbs of Airedale, Cutsyke, Ferry Fryston, Fryston Village, Glasshoughton, Half Acres, Hightown, Lock Lane, Wheldale and Whitwood.
Castleford is home to the rugby league Super League team Castleford Tigers.Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve
Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve is a protected area in Yorkshire, England, which is noted for its avian biodiversity.
The reserve has recorded around 280 bird species, remarkable for an inland site in the United Kingdom. This is explained by the site being on migration routes as well as the diversity of habitats.Hemsworth
Hemsworth is a small town and civil parish on the edge of West Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire, it forms part of the City of Wakefield, and has a population of 13,311, increasing to 15,350 for the ward in the City of Wakefield Council at the 2011 Census.It was a one-industry town, where coal mining employed the vast majority of residents, and the closure of the pits during the 1980s led to huge levels of unemployment and deprivation in the area. Hemsworth, along with nearby villages such as Ackworth, Fitzwilliam, Havercroft, Ryhill, South Elmsall and South Kirkby was made into a special regeneration area, and fortunes have improved as a result.
The Hemsworth constituency is famous for being the place where Labour votes were said to be "weighed rather than counted" during the 1960s and 1970s, but the town is not even so heavily Labour-voting as it once was. The town's Member of Parliament is Jon Trickett, a former leader of Leeds council.
In May 2005, the Office for National Statistics estimated that unemployment in Hemsworth was just 2.8%. This marks progress from periods in the previous two decades when it could reach as high as 50%.
Also in Hemsworth is the Hemsworth Water Park, situated on the outskirts of Hemsworth. Hemsworth Water Park has two lakes; the largest lake is available for pedalo rides and has a man-made sandy beach; the smallest lake is in a more secluded area to attract wildlife. Both lakes are stocked for fishing which is available all year round. There are also plenty of grassed areas for picnics and games.
In the water park, there is also Playworld, an outdoor adventure playground, which is suitable for children of all ages with a tower slide, climbing frames, a toddlers' sandpit area and a miniature railway.
A new kiosk and toilet facilities were opened in March 2006. New equipment was introduced in 2008. A new restaurant, which opened in 2011, is situated adjacent to the larger of the two fishing lakes, and serves hot and cold meals, drinks and snacks.
The local newspaper for the area is the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express, which gives local residents the ability to voice their opinions on local topical concerns, provides local, regional, nationwide and world news.
Along with the neighbouring village of Kinsley it is mentioned in the Domesday Book which was commissioned in 1085 by William the Conqueror. The name in the Domesday Book is Hamelsworde being the 'worth' or enclosure of a possible Saxon, named Hamel.
Hemsworth was used in an episode of the Top Gear series: Series 4 episode 2.
Robert Holgate, a native of Hemsworth (1481?–1555) was consecrated Archbishop of York in January 1545.
There are many different schools including Grove Lea Primary School, West End Academy, Sacred Hearts, St Helens Primary School and Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy.Knottingley
Knottingley is a town within the metropolitan borough of the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England on the River Aire and the old A1 road before it was bypassed as the A1(M). Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it has a population of 13,503, increasing to 13,710 for the City of Wakefield ward at the 2011 Census.Until 1699, it was an important inland river port but, in that year, the Aire was made navigable as far as Leeds, which soon surpassed it. Knottingley continued as a centre for boat building into the 20th century. In the late 19th century, it started glass manufacturing. The town is served by Knottingley railway station.
After 1870, the town became known for glass manufacturing. In 1887 Bagley's Glassworks purchased the rights to the first bottle-making machine, invented by a Ferrybridge postmaster. There is a Bagley's Glass gallery in Pontefract Museum.
Close to Knottingley is the Ferrybridge Power Station, which has the largest cooling towers of their kind in Europe. Three of these towers collapsed in high winds in 1965. These towers can be seen for miles around. One of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in England, located in Aire Street, has been converted into flats.
The town was the last in the United Kingdom to have a working deep coal mine, Kellingley Colliery, until it closed in December 2015.List of schools in Wakefield
This is a list of schools in the City of Wakefield in the English county of West Yorkshire.NEW College, Pontefract
NEW (previously an acronym for the North East Wakefield) College is a coeducational, sixth form college in Pontefract, near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England.Normanton, West Yorkshire
Normanton is a town and civil parish in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. It is north-east of Wakefield and south-west of Castleford, and at the time of the 2011 Census, the population of the civil parish was 20,872, whilst the Normanton ward of the Wakefield City Council had a population of 16,220.Pontefract Castle
Pontefract (or, Pomfret) Castle is a castle ruin in the town of Pontefract, in West Yorkshire, England. King Richard II is thought to have died there. It was the site of a series of famous sieges during the 17th-century English Civil War.Pontefract Racecourse
Pontefract Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England.Post Office Road
Post Office Road, (currently known as the L.D. Nutrition Stadium for sponsorship purposes), is a rugby league ground in Featherstone, near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. It is the home of rugby league club Featherstone Rovers. The ground's current capacity is 9,850.South Elmsall
South Elmsall is a small town and civil parish which lies to the east of Hemsworth in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. The town had a population in 2001 of 6,107, increasing to 6,519 at the 2011 Census.St Wilfrid's Catholic High School, North Featherstone
St Wilfrid's Catholic High School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form with academy status located in Featherstone, West Yorkshire, England. It also has dual Language and Vocational specialisms.The Jungle (Wheldon Road)
Wheldon Road (known as the Mend-A-Hose Jungle for sponsorship purposes) is the home ground of Castleford Tigers Rugby league Club in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England. It is on Wheldon Road, just outside Castleford town centre. The record attendance of 25,449 was for a Challenge Cup match in 1935.Upton, West Yorkshire
Upton is a village and civil parish in West Yorkshire, England. It had a population of 3,541 in the 2001 census.It is situated south of Badsworth and north of North Elmsall and is part of the SESKU (South Elmsall, South Kirkby, Upton) area. The village is also in the WF9 postal area (Pontefract) and very close to the South Yorkshire boundary.WF postcode area
The WF postcode area, also known as the Wakefield postcode area, is a group of seventeen postcode districts in England, which are subdivisions of eleven post towns. These postcode districts cover much of southern and eastern West Yorkshire, including Wakefield, Pontefract, Dewsbury, Batley, Castleford, Heckmondwike, Knottingley, Liversedge, Mirfield, Normanton and Ossett, plus a very small part of North Yorkshire.Wakefield Council
Wakefield Council, also known as Wakefield Metropolitan District Council is the local authority of the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. It is a metropolitan district council and provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. Wakefield is divided into 21 wards, electing 63 councillors. A third of the council is elected for three of every four years. The council was created by the Local Government Act 1972 and replaced the Wakefield City Council of the County Borough of Wakefield and several other authorities. Since 1974 Wakefield has held borough and city status and from this time would use the full title of the authority on all publications, signage, council vehicle fleet and documents, however from around 2005, like many other local authorities doing so at the time, the authority dropped the full title for the shorter Wakefield Council (although for an interim period when the new logo was unveiled, it would have the full authority title below however this has now been replaced with the strapline - 'working for you').
As of May 2019 the council is controlled by the Labour Party. The council leader has been Councillor Peter Box since 1998 and Merran McRae is the chief executive. Since April 2014 Wakefield Council is a constituent council of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority with Council Leader Peter Box being elected the chairman of the combined authority.Woolley Edge services
Woolley Edge services is a motorway service station on the M1 motorway near Wakefield within the borough of the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It lies between junctions 38 and 39 close to West Bretton and west of the village of Woolley.Yorkshire (West Riding) Electric Tramways
The Yorkshire (West Riding) Electric Tramways operated 2 separate tramway services. One in Wakefield between 1904 and 1932, and the other between Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford between 1906 and 1932
|East Riding of Yorkshire|