West Yorkshire County Council


West Yorkshire County Council (WYCC) – also known as West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council (WYMCC)[1] – was the top-tier local government administrative body for West Yorkshire from 1974 to 1986. A strategic authority, with responsibilities for roads, public transport, planning, emergency services and waste disposal, it was composed of 88 directly elected 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.

West Yorkshire County Council

West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council
West Yorkshire
Coat of arms or logo
Established1 April 1974
Disbanded31 March 1986
Preceded byVarious authorities, including West Riding County Council
Succeeded byVarious agencies, including West Yorkshire Joint Services
First election
Last election
Meeting place
County Hall (1898), Wood Street, Wakefield.jpg
County Hall, Wakefield, England


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 (its zone of influence) was officially created on 1 April 1974. The West Yorkshire County Council operated from County Hall, Wakefield, 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 (which had shared power with WYCC): 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 (such as emergency services and public transport) 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, and elections were held each four years thereafter.

The Coat of arms of West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council was granted by letters patent in 1975.

A former West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council sign found outside the West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Political controlEdit

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority before coming into its powers on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council from 1973 until its abolition in 1986 was held by the following parties:[2]

Party in control Years
Labour 1973–1977
Conservative 1977–1981
Labour 1981–1986


The leaders of the council included:

Councillor Party From To
Eddie Newby Labour pre-1975 May 1976
Ken Woolmer[3] Labour May 1976
Roy Moore Conservative pre-1978 1981
John Gunnell Labour 1981 1986

Election resultsEdit

Year Labour Conservative Liberals Others
1973 (period of office 1974–77)[4] 51 25 11 1
1977[5] 30 54 4 0
1981[6] 63 14 11 0

Successor bodiesEdit

After the council was abolished in 1986, power was devolved to the five constituent district councils of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. Some council functions including archive services and Trading Standards continued to be provided jointly, through West Yorkshire Joint Services, and 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".[7] The West Yorkshire Combined Authority was created in April 2014.[8]


  1. ^ "County Hall, Wakefield". Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ "On this day". Telegraph and Argus. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Labour take over metropolitan counties and 11 other councils". The Times. 14 April 1973. p. 3. Retrieved 6 April 2012. (available online to subscribers)
  5. ^ "Conservatives triumphant in Greater London and Metropolitan counties". The Times. 6 May 1977. p. 4. Retrieved 6 April 2012. (available online to subscribers)
  6. ^ "GLC results in full: big Labour gains in the counties". The Times. 8 May 1981. p. 4. Retrieved 6 April 2012. (available online to subscribers)
  7. ^ Council plans depend on a new authority – Dewsbury Reporter
  8. ^ "Strategic Update" (PDF). West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority.