The county of West Yorkshire is divided into five administrative areas, each with its own District Council. These areas are Bradford, Calderdale (including Halifax), Kirklees (including Dewsbury and Huddersfield), Leeds and Wakefield.
Following the abolition of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Council in 1986, the duty to perform many of the functions which the Metropolitan Council had performed fell to these five authorities. Amongst these duties was the provision of Archaeology, Archives and Trading Standards Services.
It was, however, realised that there are a number of advantages in maintaining the provision of these services on a county-wide basis. The decision was therefore taken to deliver these services via a Joint Committee arrangement.
Under the Joint Committee system, each District Council is represented by its Leader and three other Members. Funding by each of the Districts is based on that District’s population as a proportion of West Yorkshire as a whole. This means that Leeds District Council will pay the largest amount as they are the most populous of the five districts, followed by Bradford, Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale.
This system has allowed each of the Archaeology, Archives and Trading Standards Services to benefit from economies of scale and so provide specialist staff, expertise and resources. These Services have been shown to be effective, efficient and offer exceptional value for money. This example of five district councils co-operating to provide high-performing and quality services has been held up nationally as an example to be followed.
In 1997, after a decade of this system, the benefits were apparent. It was recognised however that there was a duplication of resources and accordingly a Joint Service was created encompassing Archaeology, Archives and Trading Standards. The Joint Services have combined administrative, personnel and information technology sections and so is able to provide more resources to delivering a service for the benefit of all West Yorkshire citizens.
Today West Yorkshire Joint Services comprises:
To view and download information about Joint Services, including the different services provided, click here