Police have launched a desperate appeal for Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators due to a chronic lack of leaders in Steeton and Eastburn, the parish council heard.

PCSO Lawrence Walton called for volunteers to come forward at the Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council meeting last week.

He said: “From 12 in the area I am now down to just four, because all the rest have given up doing it.

“To be honest, the main reason for the decline in numbers is that the co-ordinators have just got too old to carry on.”

Neighbourhood Watch teams consist of volunteers who meet regularly to discuss low-level crime in their patch and are vigilant to any suspicious behaviour.

They often run campaigns promoting crime prevention advice and a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator is the main point of contact with police and other members.

For more information, contact PCSO Walton at Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team on 01274 475301.

PCSO Walton stressed that he was keen to “push” the NPT’s new Police and Community Together initiative — PACT.

This involves giving residents, councillors and business people a chance to speak to officers and have a say in what they would like the police to do locally.

As part of the new scheme, Councillor Pamela Blagden agreed to join police on a patrol of the area l Steps are being taken to finally kick the Eastburn playing fields project into play.

For two years councillors have been planning to construct a park and activity area designed to occupy children and young people of all ages in the playing fields. But before work can take place, the fields’ drainage problems must be remedied.

The parish council clerk, Cheryl Brown, said she would begin to collate quotes for work on the field drainage. Cllr Mullen said: “We can only talk around it so long. We are two years down the line and we are still back where we were. So I move that we get some quotes and move forward.”

Cllr John Hargreaves expressed optimism for the recreational venture.