THE FIGHT to save Ilkley's toilets and visitor information centre has taken a step forward with the formation of committees to oversee the battle.

Ilkley Parish councillors are determined the important facilities will not be lost in Bradford Council's latest cuts. And they will now be looking at a number of options to find the best ways to save the services.

At a meeting of the parish council this week members agreed to the setting up of the committees, which will be opened up to people outside the council to help find the best possible solutions.

Ilkley has been told it has just one year before the closure comes into effect at its central and Riverside Gardens facilities. Ilkley Parish Council's vice chairman Cllr Stephen Butler proposed setting up the committee, which he said might involve people outside the council. He told the meeting there were a number of options available - one of which would involve asking local businesses to make their toilets available, and possibly paying them to do so. He said they needed to find people who would be prepared to help them find the best way forward.

Cllr Butler also proposed setting up a committee to formulate a plan to save the visitor information centre. He stressed that if Bradford took the decision to close the centre urgent action would need to be taken to make sure it stayed open.

The committee is expected to report back in about May with a more concrete plan on how to proceed.

Cllr Mike Gibbons told the meeting he was not sure Bradford really wanted to see the closure of the centre in Ilkley - and he said a conversation he had had with senior officers was about moving the tourist information centre back into the library, where it was previously based.

"It seems to make a lot of sense, so I am hopeful that we won't lose that facility," he said.

But he added: "I am not happy that we are going to be put in a situation where this council is going to have to stump up fairly large sums of money to continue to run both the tourist information centre and the toilets."

He stressed that thousands of people visited Ilkley, many of them Bradford residents, and both the threatened services were essential.

Parish Council chairman Cllr Brian Mann said: "There is no doubt about it, the Bradford budget is under significant pressure from social care."

He added: "We have a duty to pick up the pieces if necessary."