Silsden Town Council may revive the post of ‘lengthsman’ to clean the streets.

Members are looking at employing their own street sweeper amidst fears the next round of Bradford Council cuts could target street cleaning.

They have teamed up with their counterparts on Adding-ham Parish Council to look at jointly funding a worker.

Silsden chairman, Councillor Chris Atkinson, and his Adding-ham counterpart, Councillor Catherine Coates, toured the villages last week investigating the possible duties of a lengthsman.

Coun Atkinson said Bradford Council is faced with cutting millions more pounds from its annual budget, and this will potentially have an effect on services received by Silsden and Addingham.

He added Bradford, which has already cut millions from its budget in the past two years, will begin its next round of budget consultations in September.

Coun Atkinson said many older residents will remember the lengthsman, who was a regular sight sweeping the streets of both villages.

He added: “I often get residents asking for particular areas to be cleaned if they get dirty, and it is something Bradford does respond quickly to.

“However, will it have the resources to respond quickly in the future?

“Investigating the idea of a lengthsman with Addingham is an excellent example of forward thinking, and it is a resource that would benefit both Silsden and Addingham.”

Coun Coates said it was important for the parish councils to prepare as well as they could for future cuts.

Bradford Council bosses exp-ressed concern last December that cuts to cleansing crews could increase the amount of litter on streets.

A report to Keighley Area Committee, whose area includes Silsden, anticipated an increase in complaints and reports of rubbish as the reduction in staff began to bite.

It also warned that potential cuts in the future could put even more pressure on the already-stretched service.

‘Efficiency savings’ implemented last year led to a reduction in working hours in the council’s road and pavement sweeping operation.