Fire cover is provided by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue with one pump (sometimes two) based at Pontefract Fire Station. Formerly located on Stuart Road in the town centre, the station has now moved to a new site at Stumpcross Lane, by the A645 road at the town's eastern edge. The new fire station also provides cover for Knottingley, that town's fire station having been closed as part of the merging of fire cover for Pontefract and Knottingley.

Since the medieval times the market town of Pontefract has been making its mark on history, housing one of England's greatest Castles and one of the original places where liquorice plants were cultivated. While liquorice growing disappeared some time ago, this beautiful town is packed with things to do including lively shopping, action-packed horse racing, historic castles, pretty villages and colourful carnivals, making it a superb choice for a short break or family day out.

In her maiden speech to the House of Commons, Cooper said:

From 1978 to 1997 the local ex-miner and former local NUM branch leader Geoff Lofthouse (18 December 1925 – 1 November 2012) was MP for the former constituency of Pontefract and Castleford. During this time he rose to the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. When the general election of 1997 was called he stood down to allow Yvette Cooper to be selected as the Labour Party candidate for that election. He was made a peer on 11 June 1997.

The modern town is situated on an old Roman road (now the A639), described as the "Roman Ridge", which passes south towards Doncaster. The Roman Ridge is believed to form part of an alternative route from Doncaster to York via Castleford and Tadcaster, as a diversion of the major Roman road Ermine Street, which may have been used to avoid having to cross the River Humber near North Ferriby during rough weather conditions over the Humber.

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QUEENS AVENUE - BARRACKS ESTATE:  QUEENS AVENUE - BARRACKS ESTATE - Nuisance Youths/ASB(Mud throwing)/Kicking footballs at elderly residents properties Between 1800-2100 hours. 

In 1930, the workhouse came under the control of the West Riding County Council. Its layout at this date is shown on the plan below.

Homes 1 and 3 housed boys, while homes 2 and 4 housed girls. In each home, up to sixteen children lived under the supervision of a house mother and a head girl.

The abolition of all remaining Gilbert Unions in 1869 led to further reorganisation in the area. Pontefract lost some parishes to other unions such as Tadcaster, and in turn gained the parishes of Ackton, Beaghall with Kellingley, Brotherton, Burton Salmon, Carleton, Castleford, Darrington, Fairburn, Featherstone, Ferry Fryston, Glass Houghton, Ledston, Methley, Pontefract Park, Purston Jaglin, Sutton, Water Frystone, and Whitwood.

The local police force is West Yorkshire Police, with the town's neighbourhood policing team being situated at the new fire station on Stumpcross Lane. The original police station situated in Sessions House yard is due for closure since the new divisional headquarters for the Wakefield District opened in Normanton and the neighbouring magistrates' court has moved over to Wakefield.

We our holding our “Higher Education Evening for Year 13 Parents” on Tuesday 20 September from 7.00pm until 8:30pm in

The Territorial Army, Army Cadets and Air Training Corps all have a presence within the town and are based at the historic Pontefract Barracks building on Wakefield Road. It now houses a Rifles Regiment Recruitment team.

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A Pontefract Union workhouse was erected in 1862-4 at the north of Pontefract on a site bounded by Skinner Lane and Back Northgate. The building was constructed of brick with a three-storey main building. Other buildings on the site included a large infirmary at the north-west of the main block, and a separate block for women and children to the east. The site layout is shown on the 1907 map below.

In 1834, the Royal Commission investigating the poor relief system recorded that:

After 1930, the homes were taken over by the district council and became known as Eastwell Lodge.

Pontefract had a workhouse on Micklegate. After the adjacent Bead (or Bede) House Hospital closed in 1811, this was incorporated into the workhouse.

FERRYBRIDGE : Members and partners who attended at the recent PACT meeting have agreed there are no pact priorities in Ferrybridge at present. 

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In around 1906, the Pontefract Union erected children's cottage homes at Carleton with an additional home being added in 1912. In total, they could accommodate 120 children. The Carleton homes were located on Moor Lane and comprised two double cottages, and infants' nursery, and an administrative building referred to as 'Top Home' where the matron had her quarters and older children also lived prior to their leaving the homes.

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The local newspaper is the Pontefract and Castleford Express. Pontefract is known for its 'down-to-earth' nightlife.[27] Venues include Big Fellas, the Elephant, the Green Dragon, the Tap and Barrel, Wetherspoons, the Malt Shovel, and the Blackmoor Head. In September 2012 one of Pontefract's old Nightclubs, Kiko's, re-opened its doors to the public after being closed for many years.


There are a number of supermarkets in Pontefract which include a Tesco and Morrisons which are located opposite each other, and an Asda, which was originally a Kwik Save store, a short distance outside the town centre. The secondary schools in the town are Carleton Community High School in Carleton, and the King's School on Mill Hill Lane, both for pupils aged 11–16. A sixth-form college, NEW College Pontefract, is located on Park Lane.

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Ridings FM is the town's local commercial radio station, Launched in October 1999, Ridings FM can be heard across Pontefract on 106.8 FM. The station serves the wider Wakefield District. The station has a close relationship with the community and is actively involved in local charities fundraising efforts.

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Cobblers Lane PACT Meeting Priorities:  1, Parking issues, congestion/obstruction of driveways during school drop off and picking up times. 2, Dog fouling on Cobblers Lane/ Harefield Road. 3, Litter being dropped outside the three schools on Cobblers Lane by pupils and parents going to and from the school.

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Other parish poorhouses is the area included ones at Beaghall, Fairburn, Darrington and Snydale. The Fairburn poorhouse stood on what is now Rawfield Lane.

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The continued existence of several Gilbert Unions in the West Riding thwarted the Poor Law Commissioners plans to unionize the area and Pontefract continued operating its own town workhouse on Micklegate.

Pontefract has its own non-league football club, Pontefract Collieries F.C., which was founded in 1958 and plays adjacent to the former Prince of Wales Colliery off Beechnut Lane. The team, known locally as "Ponte Colls" play in the Northern Counties East Football League Pontefract is also home to the Pontefract Knights rugby league football club.

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The men's block was erected in 1867 and was referred to as the 'Bastille'. Indeed, one master had been so severe that some of the inmates ran away. The place was greatly enlarged with the addition of a laundry block (1897), a gatehouse and offices (1898) and an administration and women's block (1904). The workhouse also had its own power plant and attendant engineer (Fred Keighley) and was a very large place.

The seat, which has a history of mining and industry, has consistently returned Labour MPs at general elections. Yvette Cooper polled 48.1% of the vote in the 2010 general election.