West Yorkshire County Council
West Yorkshire County Council — known as West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council — was the top-tier local government administrative body for West Yorkshire from 1974 to 1986. A strategic authority, with responsibilities for public transport, emergency services and waste disposal, it was composed of 88 members drawn from the five metropolitan boroughs of West Yorkshire. West Yorkshire County Council shared power with five lower-tier district councils, each of which directed local matters. Established with reference to the Local Government Act 1972, elections in 1973 brought about the county council's launch as a shadow authority, several months before West Yorkshire was created on 1 April 1974; the West Yorkshire County Council operated from County Hall, until it was abolished 31 March 1986, following the Local Government Act 1985. Its powers were passed to the five district councils of West Yorkshire: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Council, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council and Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.
Some powers of the county council were restored when the district councils delegated strategic responsibilities to the county-wide West Yorkshire Joint Services and joint boards. Its headquarters were County Hall in Wakefield; this was built in 1888 for West Riding County Council, which occupied it until its abolition in 1974. The building is now the home of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council; the council's 88 members were first elected on 12 April 1973, to take office on 1 April 1974. They were elected for four years, elections were held each four years thereafter; the Coat of arms of West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council was granted by letters patent in 1975. After the council was abolished in 1986, power was devolved to the five constituent district councils of Bradford, Kirklees and Wakefield; some council functions including archive services and Trading Standards continued to be provided jointly, through West Yorkshire Joint Services, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and West Yorkshire Police continue to operate across the county.
In 2012, plans to revive a top-tier administrative combined authority for West Yorkshire were revealed, with Peter McBride, cabinet member for housing and investment and councillor for Kirklees, stating "what we are recreating in effect is the West Yorkshire County Council in another form, which the government abolished in 1986 but has come to realise that you need a body of that size". The West Yorkshire Combined Authority was created in April 2014
Coat of arms of Wakefield
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, 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 shield of the arms has a background of black and gold. The black represents the coal mining industry, once widespread and important to the district. In the top, left of the shield is the arms of the city of Wakefield; the mural crowns signify Wakefield's important role in governance for the surrounding area. The compartment shows thirteen acorns which represent the thirteen former local government areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire that merged to form the metropolitan district in 1974. Beneath the compartment is a motto, "Persevere and prosper"; the arms used before 1990 had been used in Wakefield for over 500 years.
The arms had the simple blazon of "Azure, a fleur-de-lys Or". Despite its history, arms were not granted until 1932 when the Ermine fimbriation was added; the blazon became "Azure, a fleur-de-lys Or fimbriated Ermine"
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
City of Wakefield
The City of Wakefield is a local government district in West Yorkshire, 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, Featherstone and Knottingley. Other towns include Ossett, South Kirkby and Moorthorpe and South Elmsall; the City and borough are governed by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Wakefield lies between Leeds and Barnsley In 2010, Wakefield was named as the UK's third most musical city by PRS for Music. 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, 1990s, Wakefield District now has below-average unemployment; the "Wakefield East" ward had 4.7% unemployment in May 2005 —which was more than 1% higher than any other ward. The eastern half of the district remains less prosperous than the western half, with several deprived wards The district is made out of old coal-mining towns, although other industries include wool, machine tools 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, Kellingley at Knottingley which closed in 2015 ending the industry that once dominated the district.
Most of the district's pits had been 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 and Pontefract, the urban districts of Featherstone, Horbury, Knottingley 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 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, 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, preserve nearby countryside.
This is achieved by restricting inappropriate development within the designated areas, imposing stricter conditions on permitted building. The green belt surrounds the Wakefield built up area, stretches into the wider borough, with larger outlying towns and villages such as Hollingthorpe, Netherton, Castleford and Pontefract exempted from it. However, smaller villages and rural areas such as Warmfield and Heath, Stanley Ferry, Snydale and Chapelthorpe are'washed over' by the designation; the green belt was first adopted in 1987, the size in the borough in 2017 amounted to some 23,500 hectares. 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 and Stanley sports centres, several golf courses, Church of St Peter the Apostle at Kirkthorpe, Fitzwilliam Country Park, 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 for a four-year period, 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; 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. 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 increas
Liberal Democrats (UK)
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal political party in the United Kingdom. They have 11 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 96 members of the House of Lords, one member of the European Parliament, five Members of the Scottish Parliament and one member in the Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. At the height of its influence, the party formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2015 with its leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister, it is led by Sir Vince Cable. In 1981, an electoral alliance was established between the Liberal Party, a group, the direct descendent of the 18th-century Whigs, the Social Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Labour Party. In 1988 this alliance was formalised as the Liberal Democrats. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, the party grew during the 1990s and 2000s, focusing its campaigning on specific seats and becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. Under its leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats were junior partners in a coalition government headed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, with Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The coalition damaged the Liberal Democrats' electoral prospects: the party was reduced from 57 to 8 seats at the 2015 election. Positioned in the centre ground of British politics, the Liberal Democrats are ideologically liberal. Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice. Different factions take different approaches to economic issues; the party is pro-Europeanist, supporting continued UK membership of the European Union and greater European integration. It calls for electoral reform with a transition from the first-past-the-post voting system to one of proportional representation. Other policies have included further environmental protections and drug liberalisation laws, while it has opposed certain UK military engagements like the Iraq War; the party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Liberal International. The Liberal Democrats are strongest in northern Scotland, southwest London, southwest England, mid-Wales.
The Liberal Democrats were formed on 3 March 1988 by a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, which had formed a pact nearly seven years earlier as the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Party, founded in 1859, were descended from the Whigs and Peelites, while the SDP were a party created in 1981 by former Labour Party members, MPs and cabinet ministers, but gained defections from the Conservative Party. Having declined to third party status after the rise of the Labour Party from 1918 and during the 1920s, the Liberals were challenged for this position in the 1980s when a group of Labour MPs broke away and established the Social Democratic Party; the SDP and the Liberals realised that there was no space for two political parties of the centre and entered into the SDP–Liberal Alliance so that they would not stand against each other in elections. The Alliance was led by Roy Jenkins; the two parties had their own policies and emphases, but produced a joint manifesto for the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Following disappointing results in the 1987 election, Steel proposed to merge the two parties. Although opposed by Owen, it was supported by a majority of members of both parties, they formally merged in March 1988, with Steel and Robert Maclennan as joint interim leaders; the new party was named Social and Liberal Democrats with the unofficial short form The Democrats being used from September 1988. The name was subsequently changed to Liberal Democrats in October 1989, shortened to Lib Dems; the new party logo, the Bird of Liberty, was adopted in 1989. The minority of the SDP who rejected the merger remained under Owen's leadership in a rump SDP. Michael Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007 but some of his former followers continue still as the Liberal Party, most notably in a couple of electoral wards of the cities of Liverpool and Peterborough; the then-serving Liberal MP Paddy Ashdown was elected leader in July 1988. At the 1989 European Elections, the party received only 6% of the vote, putting them in fourth place after the Green Party.
They failed to gain a single Member of the European Parliament at this election. Over the next three years, the party recovered under Ashdown's leadership, they performed better at the 1990 local elections and in by-elections—including at Eastbourne in 1990 which saw the first success by a Liberal Democrat standing for parliament. They had further successes in Ribble Valley and Kincardine & Deeside in 1991; the Lib Dems did not reach the share of national votes in the 1990s that the Alliance had achieved in the 1980s. At their first election in 1992, they won 17.8 % of twenty seats. In the 1994 European Elections, the party gained its first two Members of European Parliament. Following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader in July 1994 after the death of his predecessor John Smith, Ashdown pursued co-operation between the two parties becaus
A council house is a form of British public housing built by local authorities. A council estate is a building complex containing a number of council houses and other amenities like schools and shops. Construction was from 1919 after the Housing Act 1919 to the 1980s, with much less council housing built in recent decades. There were local design variations. House design in the United Kingdom is defined by a series of Housing Acts, public housing house design is defined by government directives and central governments' relationship with local authorities. From the first interventions in the Public Health Act 1875, council houses could be general housing for the working class, general housing, part of slum clearance programmed or just homes provided for the most needy, they could be funded directly by local councils, through central government incentive or by revenue obtained when other houses were sold. They have been transferred through the instrument of housing associations into the private sector.
Woolwich Borough Council was responsible for the Well Hall Estate designed for workers at the munition factories at Woolwich Arsenal. The estate and the house were built to the garden suburb philosophy: houses were all different; the estate received the royal seal of approval when, on Friday 24 March 1916, Queen Mary made an unannounced visit. A programme of council house building started after the First World War following on from the David Lloyd George’s government’s Housing Act of 1919. The'Addison Act' brought in subsidies for council house building and aimed to provide 500,000 "homes fit for heroes" within a three-year period although less than half of this target was met; the housing built comprised three-bedroom dwellings with parlour and scullery: larger properties include a living room. The standards are based on the Tudor Walters Report of 1919, the Design Manual written according to the 1913 building standards. In 1923 the Chamberlain Act withdrew subsidies for council houses except for private builders and houses for sale.
Councils could undertake to build houses and offer these for sale but to sell off some of their existing properties. This was reversed by the incoming Labour government of 1924; the Wheatley Act passed by the new Labour Government introduced higher subsidies for council housing and allowed for a contribution to be made from the rates. The housing revenue account was always separated from the general account; this was a major period of council house construction. The Housing Act 1930 stimulated slum clearance, i.e. the destruction of inadequate houses in the inner cities, built before the 1875 Act. This released land for housing and the need for smaller two bedroomed houses to replace the two-up two-down houses, demolished. Smaller three bedroom properties were built; the Housing Act 1935 led to a continuation of this policy, but the war stopped all construction, enemy action reduced the usable housing stock. PrefabsThe Housing Act 1944 led to the building of prefab bungalows with a design life of ten years.
Innovative steel-framed properties were tried in an attempt to speed up construction. A number survive well into the 21st century, a testament to the durability of a series of housing designs and construction methods only envisaged to last 10 years; the Burt Committee, formed in 1942 by the wartime government of Winston Churchill, proposed to address the need for an anticipated 200,000 shortfall in post-war housing stock, by building 500,000 prefabricated houses, with a planned life of up to 10 years within five years of the end of the Second World War. The eventual bill, under the post-war Labour government of Prime Minister Clement Attlee, agreed to deliver 300,000 units within 10 years, within a budget of £150m. Of 1.2 million new houses built from 1945 to 1951 when the programme ended, 156,623 prefab houses were constructed. New Towns Act housingMainly during the immediate post-war years, well into the 1950s, council house provision was shaped by the New Towns Act 1946 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 of the 1945–51 Labour government.
At the same time this government introduced housing legislation that removed explicit references to housing for the working class and introduced the concept of "general needs" construction. In particular, Aneurin Bevan, the Minister for Health and Housing, promoted a vision of new estates where "the working man, the doctor and the clergyman will live in close proximity to each other"; the Addison Act 1919 houses were three-bedroom houses with lounge and scullery, sometimes with a parlour. Some had two, four, or five bedrooms, as well as generously-sized back gardens intended for vegetable growing. At most they were built at 12 houses per acre, they were built to the recommendations of the Tudor Walters Report. Examples are found in Downham, Watling Estate, Becontree; the Addison Act 1919, the severe housing shortage in the early 1920s created the first generation of houses to feature electricity, running water, indoor toilets and front/rear gardens. However, until well into the 1930s, some were built with outdoor toilets.
Some did not feature an actual bathroom. The Chamberlain Act 1923 reduced the expected standards; the Wheatley Act 1924 attempted to restore some of them. Under the Addison Act, a house would be 1,000 square feet but after 1924 it would be 620 square feet; this was a major period of council house construction. With
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs and is bordered by the counties of Derbyshire to the south, Greater Manchester to the south-west, Lancashire to the north-west, North Yorkshire to the north and east, South Yorkshire to the south and south-east. Remnants of strong coal and iron ore industries remain in the county, having attracted people over the centuries, this can be seen in the buildings and architecture. Leeds may become a terminus for a north-east limb of High Speed 2. Major railways and two major motorways traverse the county, which contains Leeds Bradford International Airport. West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986 so its five districts became unitary authorities.
However, the metropolitan county, which covers an area of 2,029 square kilometres, continues to exist in law, as a geographic frame of reference. Since 1 April 2014 West Yorkshire has been a combined authority area, with the local authorities pooling together some functions over transport and regeneration as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. West Yorkshire includes the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the biggest and most built-up urban area within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire. West Yorkshire was formed as a metropolitan county in 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, corresponds to the core of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire and the county boroughs of Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield. West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council inherited the use of West Riding County Hall at Wakefield, opened in 1898, from the West Riding County Council in 1974. Since 1987 it has been the headquarters of Wakefield City Council; the county had a two-tier structure of local government with a strategic-level county council and five districts providing most services.
In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished. The functions of the county council were devolved to the boroughs. Organisations such as the West Yorkshire Metro continue to operate on this basis. Although the county council was abolished, West Yorkshire continues to form a metropolitan and ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and a High Sheriff. Wakefield's Parish Church was raised to cathedral status in 1888 and after the elevation of Wakefield to diocese, Wakefield Council sought city status and this was granted in July 1888; however the industrial revolution, which changed West and South Yorkshire led to the growth of Leeds and Bradford, which became the area's two largest cities. Leeds was granted city status in 1893 and Bradford in 1897; the name of Leeds Town Hall reflects the fact that at its opening in 1858 Leeds was not yet a city, while Bradford renamed its Town Hall as City Hall in 1965. The county borders, going anticlockwise from the west: Lancashire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
It lies entirely on rocks of carboniferous age which form the southern Pennine fringes in the west and the Yorkshire coalfield further eastwards. In the extreme east of the metropolitan county there are younger deposits of magnesian limestone; the Bradford and Calderdale areas are dominated by the scenery of the eastern slopes of the Pennines, dropping from upland in the west down to the east, dissected by many steep-sided valleys. Large-scale industry, housing and commercial buildings of differing heights, transport routes and open countryside conjoin; the dense network of roads and railways and urban development, confined by valleys creates dramatic interplay of views between settlements and the surrounding hillsides, as shaped the first urban-rural juxtapositions of David Hockney. Where most rural the land crops up in the such rhymes and folklore as On Ilkley Moor Bah'Tat, date unknown, the early 19th century novels and poems of the Brontë family in and around Haworth and long-running light comedy-drama Last of the Summer Wine in the 20th century.
The carboniferous rocks of the Yorkshire coalfield further east have produced a rolling landscape with hills and broad valleys. In this landscape there is widespread evidence of former industrial activity. There are numerous derelict or converted mine buildings and landscaped former spoil heaps; the scenery is a mixture of built up areas, industrial land with some dereliction, farmed open country. Ribbon developments along transport routes including canal and rail are prominent features of the area although some remnants of the pre industrial landscape and semi-natural vegetation still survive. However, many areas are affected by urban fringe pressures creating fragmented and downgraded landscapes and present are urban influences from major cities, smaller industrial towns and former mining villages. In the magnesian limestone belt to the east of the Leeds and Wakefield areas is an elevated ridge with smoothly rolling scenery, dissected by dry valleys. Here, there is a large number of country houses and estates with parkland, estate woodlands and game coverts.
The rivers Aire and Calder drain the area, flowing from west to east. The table below outlines many of the co