HOUSEHOLDERS will be asked to help keep their streets clear of leaves in a scheme to be trialled in Ilkley.

Bradford Council is hoping to involve local people in leaf clearance - but is stressing that the scheme is voluntary and that its own service won't be reduced.

Residents in Ilkley and Worth Valley will be asked if they want to help clear the streets - sweeping up leaves which can then be collected by the council's own staff.

Sue Gledhill, of Bradford Council's Keighley Area office, described the proposed scheme at a meeting of Ilkley Parish Council this week,

She said: "We want to try it as a little bit of a trial and so we would encourage people to work with us."

She stressed: "We are not reducing our service - our service is going to be what it has always been."

Under the new initiative, which could be introduced this month, people will be asked if they want to sweep up in an area where they live. The council's own 'clean team' will then take the leaves away free of charge.

The proposal could be seen as a way forward in areas where residents feel the problem is not being adequately tackled.

Ms Gledhill said: "We are just doing what we have always done but sometimes people don't feel that is enough."

She added: "We just haven't got the manpower to be cleaning every street every day for the next two months."

The Parish council agreed to support Bradford in its initiative to encourage local residents to help out. Councillors also agreed to pay £500 for a leaf blower for the town's linesman.

In previous years people in Ilkley have complained about dangerous pavements and blocked gullies caused by piles of leaves.

Last November quick-thinking neighbours rescued a man from his basement flat on Skipton Road as torrential rain flooded the building.

Mick O'Brien and other residents and business people in the small row of terraces blamed Bradford Council for failing to clear leaves from gullies.