Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

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Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
Third of council elected three years out of four
Coat of arms of Wakefield City Council.png
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
Council logo
Type
Type
Houses Unicameral
History
New session started
16 May 2013 (Municipal year 2013/2014)
Leadership
Leader
Peter Box, Labour
Mayor
Janet Holmes
since 13 November 2013
Seats 63
Elections
Multiple member first-past-the-post voting
Last election
2010 (one third of councillors)
2011 (one third of councillors)
2012 (one third of councillors)
Next election
2014 (one third of councillors)
2015 (one third of councillors)
2016 (one third of councillors)
Motto
Persevere and prosper
Meeting place
County Hall (1898), Wood Street, Wakefield.jpg
County Hall, Wakefield
Website
www.wakefield.gov.uk
Constitution
Constitution, 16 May 2013

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 February 2013 the council is controlled by the Labour Party. The council leader is Peter Box and Joanne Roney is the chief executive. From April 2014 it is planned to be a constituent council of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

History[edit]

The council was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. It replaced the existing Wakefield City Council that was the local authority of the County Borough of Wakefield. It also replaced Castleford Borough Council, Ossett Borough Council, Pontefract Borough Council, Featherstone Urban District Council, Hemsworth Urban District Council, Horbury Urban District Council, Knottingley Urban District Council, Normanton Urban District Council, Stanley Urban District Council, Wakefield Rural District Council, Hemsworth Rural District Council and Osgoldcross Rural District Council.

The current local authority was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the Metropolitan District of Wakefield on 1 April 1974. The council gained borough and city status and to annually appoint a Mayor of Wakefield.

It was envisaged through the Local Government Act 1972 that Wakefield as a metropolitan local authority would share power with the West Yorkshire County Council. The split of powers and functions meant that the West Yorkshire County Council was responsible for "wide area" services such as fire, ambulance and waste disposal with the district authorities responsible for "personal" services such as social care, libraries, education and refuse collection. This arrangement lasted until 1986 when Wakefield Metropolitan District Council gained responsibility for some services that had been provided by the West Yorkshire County Council. The Local Government Act 1985 directed the councils of West Yorkshire to form joint arrangements in order to deliver these functions.

Powers and functions[edit]

Inside the council chamber

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of local government, Wakefield is within a metropolitan area of England. As a metropolitan district council, Wakefield Metropolitan District Council provides most local government functions directly. It is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health, it is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal.

Certain services are provided with the other local authorities in West Yorkshire. The council is represented on West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee (for trading standards, archives, archaeology and grants), West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence Authority, West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority and the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel.[1] It is planned that from April 2014 it will be a constituent council of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.[2]

Policies[edit]

In 2004 the district's extensive council housing was transferred to Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), a new independent housing association. Council houses account for around 30% of the districts housing.

Finances[edit]

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council is the billing authority for Council Tax, and collects a precepts on behalf of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and the West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence Authority.

Elections[edit]

Electoral arrangements[edit]

One third of the council is elected in three of every four years, followed by one year without elections. For the purpose of electing councillors, Wakefield is divided into 21 wards.[3][4]

  • 1 Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton
  • 2 Airedale and Ferry Fryston
  • 3 Altofts and Whitwood
  • 4 Castleford Central and Glasshoughton
  • 5 Crofton, Ryhill and Walton
  • 6 Featherstone
  • 7 Hemsworth
  • 8 Horbury and South Ossett
  • 9 Knottingley
  • 10 Normanton
  • 11 Ossett
  • 12 Pontefract North
  • 13 Pontefract South
  • 14 South Elmsall and South Kirkby
  • 15 Stanley and Outwood East
  • 16 Wakefield East
  • 17 Wakefield North
  • 18 Wakefield Rural
  • 19 Wakefield South
  • 20 Wakefield West
  • 21 Wrenthorpe and Outwood West

Political makeup[edit]

The current council composition is Labour 54, Conservatives 6, UKIP 2, Independent 1 following the 2014 elections. The current composition of the council following the 2014 elections is:

Party political make-up of Wakefield Council
   Party Seats Current Council (2014)
2011[5] 2012[6] 2014[7]
  Labour 40 52 54                                                                                                                              
  Conservative 20 11 6                                                                                                                              
  UKIP 0 0 2                                                                                                                              
  Independent 3 0 1                                                                                                                              
Former logos of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
A rubbish bin in Wakefield city centre showing the former logo of the council. 
A sign in South Wakefield depicting the former council logo with the full official title. 
This sign found attached on Wakefield Town Hall shows the former logo and full title 

References[edit]

External links[edit]