Ref: PR 6232
Wakefield Council is focusing on providing essential services for people who need them most between Christmas and New Year.
Non-essential services will be closed from 5pm Thursday 24 December to Monday 4 January.
Wakefield Council's Chief Executive Joanne Roney said: "We have found that some facilities are used very little over the festive period. That is why we have decided to close non-essential services again this year. By closing some facilities we are able to save money on overheads like heating and lighting.
"We do understand the importance of keeping essential services running and these will be open for those who need them. We will protect vulnerable people, work to keep roads open in winter weather and collect household waste."
Essential support services will be provided between Christmas and New Year including residential care, home care and children social work. Homeless and hostel services will remain open as well as the Council's Contact Centre.
Facilities which will be closed between Christmas and New Year, in addition to normal school closures, are most Council buildings, including libraries and museums, Wakefield One, Wakefield Town Hall and County Hall.
Pontefract Castle will be open on 24 December until 4pm. It is then closed 25 to 1 January, reopening on 2 January. Sandal Castle visitor centre is closed for winter, except Sunday 3 January when it will be open 11am to 3pm.
All of the council's museums and libraries will be open on Thursday 24 December until 5pm, except Pontefract Museum which will close at 4.30pm. All museums and libraries will then close from 25 December, reopening with usual opening hours from Monday 4 January.
The Customer Access Point at Wakefield One will be open as normal on December 24, 8.30am – 5pm. It will then close over the Christmas break and reopen as normal on January 4.
Wakefield Town Hall, County Hall and Wakefield One will be closed from 25 December to 4 January, opening as normal on 4 January.
All markets will be open on normal market days throughout the Christmas and New Year period, excluding the bank holidays on 25, 26, 28 December and 1 January 2016.
On Tuesday 22 December and Wednesday 23 December there will be an extra outdoor market at Castleford, 9am to 4pm. Also on Wednesday 23 December the indoor market at Castleford will have extended opening hours, 7am to 5pm. On Wednesday 23 December Wakefield Outdoor Market will be running an extra market 9am to 4pm.
Pontefract Market Hall will also have extended opening hours 7am to 5pm. On Thursday 24 December Castleford Market Hall will have a change in opening hours and will be open 7am to 4pm and the outdoor market at Castleford will run that day 8.30am to 2pm. Also on Thursday 24 December, Pontefract Market Hall will have a change in opening hours, open 7am to 4pm, the outdoor market will be open 9am to 2pm. South Elmsall market will be open for an extra day on Thursday 24 December, 8.30am to 2pm. Wakefield Market Hall will be operating different hours on Christmas Eve, opening 9am to 3pm, with the outdoor market opening 8.30am to 2pm.
Most Council sports and leisure centres will be open until 4pm on Thursday 24 December and are then closed over the festive period, reopening with normal hours from Saturday 2 January. This excludes Pugneys which will open as normal on Thursday 24 December, with only the park opening (not the Watersport Centre) until Friday 1 January. From Saturday 2 January the Watersport Centre and park will be open as normal.
Stickers have been placed on residents bins highlighting the collection dates over the festive season. Household Waste Recycling Centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The centres will be open on all other days but opening times may vary, please check the website for full opening times.
Over the Christmas and New Year period there will be some changes to opening times for the Visitors Centre, Licensing, Registrars and Bereavement Services. Please check the website for full details.
The public will be able to contact the Council throughout the holiday period on 0345 8 506 506 or Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503.
For more information or specific opening times please go to the Wakefield Council website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/xmastimes