City of Wakefield

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City of Wakefield
County Hall, Wakefield - geograph.org.uk - 1095490.jpg
Wakefield UK locator map.svg
Wakefield shown within West Yorkshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial county West Yorkshire
Founded1974
Admin. HQ Wakefield
Government
  Type Metropolitan borough, City
  Governing body Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
  MayorCllr Tracey Austin (L)
   Leadership Leader & Cabinet
  Executive Labour
   MPs: Yvette Cooper (L)
Andrea Jenkyns (C)
Simon Lightwood (L)
Jon Trickett (L)
Area
  Total130.7 sq mi (338.6 km2)
  Rank 121st
Population
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Total348,312
  Rank Ranked 21st
  Density2,700/sq mi (1,000/km2)
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
ISO 3166-2 GB-WKF
ONS code 00DB (ONS)
E08000036 (GSS)
NUTS 3
Ethnicity97.7% White
1.3% S.Asian
Website wakefield.gov.uk
Wakefield skyline with the towers of County Hall, the town hall and the cathedral spire Wakefield-1.jpg
Wakefield skyline with the towers of County Hall, the town hall and the cathedral spire

The City of Wakefield is a local government district with the status of a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. Wakefield, the largest settlement, is the administrative centre of the district. The population of the City of Wakefield at the 2011 Census was 325,837. [1] The district includes the Five Towns of Normanton, Pontefract, Featherstone, Castleford and Knottingley. [2] Other towns include Ossett, Horbury, Hemsworth, South Kirkby and Moorthorpe and South Elmsall. The city and district are governed by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council from headquarters in County Hall. [3]

Contents

In 2010, Wakefield was named as the UK's third most musical city by PRS for Music. [4]

Economy

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. [5] 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.

History

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.

Geography

Cornmarket, Pontefract, one of Wakefield's five towns Cornmarket, Pontefract (21st June 2020) 002.jpg
Cornmarket, Pontefract, one of Wakefield's five towns
Castleford Civic Centre Castleford Civic Centre (24th April 2021) 014.jpg
Castleford Civic Centre

Green belt

Pontefract Park Pontefract-park-2 (27598251205).jpg
Pontefract Park

The district is within a green belt region that extends into the surrounding counties that is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent the cities and towns in the West Yorkshire Urban Area conurbation from convergence, protect the identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and preserve the countryside. It restricts inappropriate development within the designated areas and imposes stricter conditions on permitted building. [6] Green belt surrounds the Wakefield built up area and stretches into the wider borough and outlying towns and villages. Walton, Netherton, Castleford, Knottingley, and Pontefract are surrounded by it. Smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas such as Warmfield and Heath, Stanley Ferry, Newmillerdam, Snydale, Wintersett, and Chapelthorpe are included in the designation. [7] The green belt was adopted in 1987, [6] and in 2017 amounted to some 23,500 hectares (235 km2; 91 sq mi). [8]

Governance

The district is divided into 21 wards, each represented on Wakefield Metropolitan District Council by three councillors. Councillors are elected on a first past the post basis, usually for a four-year period which is staggered so that only one councillor per ward is up for election at any one time. Exceptions include by-elections and ward boundary changes.

Wakefield Metropolitan District wards

WardAreas covered [9]
1 Ackworth, North Elmsall and 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 FrystonAiredale, 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 & WaltonChevet, Notton, Notton – Bleakley, Walton South, Walton North, Crofton, Ryhill, Wintersett, Havercroft with Cold Hiendley, Havercroft East
6 FeatherstoneFeatherstone Central, Featherstone East, Featherstone North West, Featherstone South, Sharlston
7 Hemsworth Hemsworth South, Hemsworth East, Fitzwilliam, Kinsley, Hemsworth West, South Hiendley
8 Horbury & South OssettHorbury 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 EastSt 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 EastHeath View, Northgate, St Swithuns, Windhill, Pinders Heath, Belle Vue, Greenhill, Northgate South, Primrose Hill, Portobello, Northgate North, Stanley Marsh
17 Wakefield NorthPlumpton, 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 RuralCrigglestone, Durkar, Hall Green, Newmillerdam, Painthorpe, Middlestown, Netherton, West Bretton, Woolley East, Woolley (Haigh Hill), Woolley West, Calder Grove
19 Wakefield SouthAgbrigg South, Kettlethorpe, Sandal Castle, Sandal Woodthorpe, Agbrigg North, Belle Vue, Milnthorpe
20 Wakefield WestSnapethorpe & 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 WestKirkhamgate, West Alverthorpe North, Gentian Court, Newton Hill West, Carr Gate, Outwood (Ledger Lane), Outwood North, Lingwell Gate, Wrenthorpe, Silcoates

Elections

Party political make-up of Wakefield Council
  PartySeatsCurrent Council (2019)
2015 [10] 2016 [11] 2018 [12] 2019 [13]
  Labour 53535249                                                 
  Conservative 671111                                                 
  Independent 2102                                                 
  Lib Dems 0001                                                 

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. [14] Labour did however, hold the seat in the by-election in January 2010 restoring their majority. [15]

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. [16] In January 2011 a Conservative Councillor defected to become an independent Councillor, leaving the Tories with 23 seats. [17]

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.

Following the local elections held on 5 May 2022, in which Labour and the Liberal Democrats each gained a seat from the Conservatives, the composition of the current Council is Labour 45, Conservatives 13, Liberal Democrats 3, and 2 Independents.

Demography

Population pyramid of the City of Wakefield in 2020 Wakefield pop pyramid.svg
Population pyramid of the City of Wakefield in 2020

Sports

The City of Wakefield MDC's Queen Anne style administrative HQ, County Hall (1898), Wakefield County Hall (1898), Wood Street, Wakefield.jpg
The City of Wakefield MDC's Queen Anne style administrative HQ, County Hall (1898), Wakefield

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. The district is also home to three clubs in the Northern Premier League: Frickley Athletic F.C. at South Elmsall, Ossett United and Pontefract Collieries.

The district has a strong heritage of cricket with former Yorkshire and England captain Geoffrey Boycott born in Fitzwilliam and current Yorkshire and England cricketer Tim Bresnan from Pontefract.

Pontefract Racecourse in Pontefract, is the longest continuous horse racing circuit in Europe at 2 miles 125 yards (3,333 m; 16.57 furlongs). [18]

Social aspects

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.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hemsworth</span> Town and civil parish in West Yorkshire, England

Hemsworth is a town and civil parish in the City of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. Historically within the West Riding of Yorkshire and had a population of 13,311 at the 2001 census, with it increasing to 13,533 at the 2011 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Civil parishes in West Yorkshire</span>

A civil parish is a subnational entity, forming the lowest unit of local government in England. There are 101 civil parishes in the ceremonial county of West Yorkshire, most of the county being unparished. At the 2001 census, there were 557,369 people living in the parishes, accounting for 26.8 per cent of the county's population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Normanton (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1885-2010

Normanton was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pontefract and Castleford (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1974–2010

Pontefract and Castleford was a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until the 2010 general election. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wakefield (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Wakefield is a constituency created in 1832, represented by Simon Lightwood of the Labour Party since 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hemsworth (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Hemsworth is a constituency in West Yorkshire represented in the House of Commons since 1996 by Jon Trickett of the Labour Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by Yvette Cooper of the Labour Party since its 2010 creation. Cooper has served under the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown alongside her husband Ed Balls, and served as Shadow Home Secretary under the leadership of Ed Miliband. Having served as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, she is once again the Shadow Home Secretary.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coat of arms of Wakefield</span>

The Coat of arms of the Wakefield District was granted in 1990. Between 1974 and 1990, the council did not have arms that represented its governance of the expanded metropolitan district of the City of Wakefield, and used the arms of the County Borough of Wakefield. Arms had been granted to the district's constituent city and towns, but an application to the College of Arms was made for a unifying achievement.

The 2002 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election took place on 2 May 2002 to elect members of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council in West Yorkshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party kept overall control of the council.

The 2003 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council in West Yorkshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party kept overall control of the council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2006 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election</span>

The 2006 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election took place on 4 May 2006 to elect members of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council in West Yorkshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party kept overall control of the council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2007 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election</span>

The 2007 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election took place on 3 May 2007 to elect members of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council in West Yorkshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party kept overall control of the council.

Pontefract South is an electoral ward of the City of Wakefield district, used for elections to Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wakefield Council</span>

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, also known as Wakefield 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 Wakefield Metropolitan District Council election</span> Local election in England

The 2018 Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council in England. The election was held on the same day as other local elections. The Labour Party and the Conservative Party fielded a full slate of 21 candidates, as well as 12 Liberal Democrats, 6 Yorkshire Party candidates, 4 Green Party candidates, 3 UK Independence Party candidates, 1 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate and 1 Democrats and Veteran's Party candidate.

This page includes the election results of the Yorkshire Party, a regional political party based in Yorkshire.

Altofts and Whitwood is an electoral ward of the City of Wakefield district used for elections to Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.

References

  1. "City of Wakefield population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  2. "The Wakefield District". Wakefield Council. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  3. "Wakefield District". Wakefield Council. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. Richard Smith (13 March 2010). "Bristol named Britain's most musical city". Daily Mirror . Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  5. "Horbury Junction Iron Co". Grace's Guide. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Green belt review" (PDF). Wakefield Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  7. "Local Plan - Adopted". Wakefield Council. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  8. "Green belt statistics - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  9. "Wards". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 16 January 2005. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  10. "Local Election Results 2014". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016.
  11. "Local Election results 2015". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016.
  12. "District (Local) election". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
  13. "Local elections 2019 - results". www.wakefield.gov.uk. Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  14. "Tributes to Councillor Graham Phelps". Wakefield Council. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.[ permanent dead link ]
  15. "Airedale and Ferry Fryston by-election result". Archived from the original on 30 August 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  16. "Local election results 2010". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 9 May 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  17. "Jesty, Graham". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  18. "Course Details – Pontefract Racecourse". Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2008.

Coordinates: 53°40′59″N1°29′56″W / 53.683°N 1.499°W / 53.683; -1.499