Wakefield Council Services – Christmas closing

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

All non-essential Council services will be closed from 5pm on Friday 22 December and re-open on 2 January while essential services will vary their opening times over the festive period.

Plans are also in place to ensure the roads are gritted and kept clear, should the wintry weather take a turn for the worse, and staff are on standby in the event of an emergency.

Staff will be working throughout the holiday to ensure our residents, who need care at home, in residential care or children’s social work, are supported over the holiday season.

Andrew Balchin, Chief Executive at Wakefield Council, said “although we are closing many of our services over the festive period, residents can be reassured that we have planned for any potential emergencies and many of our staff will be working over Christmas."

“If it’s an urgent matter or there is severe weather our teams can be contacted 24/7 through customer services, either over the phone or online."

"On behalf of everyone here I’d like to wish residents a merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year."

Andrew Balchin

Chief Executive at Wakefield Council

Andrew Balchin, Chief Executive at Wakefield Council

Town Hall, County Hall and Wakefield One

On Friday 22 December, Wakefield Town Hall and the Customer Access Point at Wakefield One will open from 8.30am until 5pm. Normal service resumes on 2 January. County Hall is closed.

Bin Collections

Each household will have received an updated collection calendar for the festive period and 2024, or can check the Where I Live page.

The Household Waste Recycling centres will open as normal over the festive period except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day, when they will be closed. Centres can be exceptionally busy at this time of year and the advice is to avoid peak times between Christmas and the New Year, if possible.

Trips to a recycling centre can be made quicker and greener by sorting out recycling before visiting the centres. South Kirkby is often less busy than Glasshoughton. Visitors are asked to avoid queuing on the road.

Libraries, Museums and Pontefract Castle

All libraries close on Saturday 23 December but closing times vary. Hemsworth, Horbury, Normanton, Sandal, South Elmsall, Airedale, Featherstone and Stanley libraries shut at 1pm, while Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford libraries close at 4pm. They all reopen on Tuesday 2 January or their next opening time after that date.

Pontefract Castle grounds and Visitors Centre are open until 4pm on Saturday 23 December. The grounds reopen on Tuesday 2 January. 

Wakefield and Castleford Museums close at 5pm on Saturday 23 December and Pontefract Museum at 4.30pm, reopening on Tuesday 2 January.

Leisure Facilities

Any changes to opening times will be made available on the Council’s website and should be checked before planning a visit.  

Pugneys Country Park

Pugneys (including the toilets and boat house café) will close at 4pm on Saturday 23 December and reopen on 27 December.

Closed on New Year’s Day and reopens on 2 January.

The car park will be not closed.

City of Wakefield Golf Club 

Closed Christmas Day. Opening hours variable.

Sun Lane Leisure Centre, Minsthorpe Leisure Centre, and Aspire @ The Park

Closed from Christmas Eve. They reopen on 27 December until Saturday 30 December with different operating hours, they will be closed again from New Year’s Eve before fully reopening on 2 January. Check here for opening hours

Normanton Leisure, Thornes Park Stadium and Featherstone Sports Complex

Closed on Christmas Eve and reopen 2 January.

Bereavement Services

The main office will shut at 4.30pm on Friday 22 December and reopen, for three days, between Wednesday 27 December and Friday 29 December. Closed on New Year’s Day. Normal opening times from Tuesday 2 January,

Wakefield and Pontefract Crematoria will be closed from Saturday 23 December and reopen on 27, 28 and 29 December. Closed on Bank Holiday Monday, 1 January, and reopen on Tuesday 2 January.

The Crematoria grounds will remain open throughout the whole of the holiday period. The Chapels of Remembrance at both Wakefield and Pontefract Crematoria will also be open every day during the holiday season 9am to 4pm. This includes Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Registration Services

The Registration service closes at 12pm on Saturday 23 December and reopens on Wednesday 27 December until 12pm on Saturday 30 December. Offices will be shut on Monday 1 January and will reopen 2 January.

An on-call team is available between 9am-10am for emergency burials on Sundays and Bank Holidays. This service is available to anyone who needs to make urgent burial arrangements or requires documentation to remove a body out of England. To receive this support call 0345 8 506 506.


All markets will be closed on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December, and Monday 1 January.

Customer Services

Telephone lines remain open 24 hours daily on 0345 8506 506. Residents are encouraged  to report non-urgent matters via My Account at https://myaccount.wakefield.gov.uk/.

Social Care Direct

Remain available 24 hours daily on 0345 8 503 503.

All services fully reopen on 2 January 2024.

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