Action is being taken to help improve the appearance of Ilkley’s streets following criticism of the state of the town centre.

Aged and rusting litter bins in the town centre are being replaced, says Bradford Council, and a council officer has offered to visit Ilkley and carry out a visual audit of problems reported.

Meanwhile, Ilkley in Bloom has asked if Ilkley Parish Council would consider contracting a lengthsman – instead of debating a town centre manager – to make sure tasks are tended to in the town.

Ilkley parish councillor, Mike Ridgway, recently gave a presentation to fellow councillors highlighting patched-up pavements, dumped rubbish, overflowing and rusted litter bins, advertising A-boards strewn in the streets, and the deteriorating condition of business premises frontages.

Since then, he has been contacted by Ilkley people who echoed his sentiments about the appearance of the town – ranging from bins left blown over in the streets to discarded traffic cones.

A ward councillor also made a plea last week for drivers to avoid parking on and churning us grass roadside verges, particularly around schools.

Sue Gledhill, of Keighley Area Co-ordinator’s Office, told Ilkley Parish Council last week that district councillors had agreed to put money towards new litter bins for Brook Street She said the new, larger bins should be in place by the end of this month.

Mrs Gledhill told parish councillors she was happy to come to Ilkley to carry out a visual audit of maintenance issues which are the responsibility of Bradford Council.

But she said the authority’s budget was constrained.

“It simply is a case that the district council budget us very stretched, but certainly, the district councillors all share the view that it’s very important we do as much as we can do,” said Mrs Gledhill.

Ilkley in Bloom’s Kate Brown asked the parish council if it would be possible to employ a parish caretaker or contractor to help maintain good standards in the town centre.

Mrs Brown also told the council she had seen one trader putting out seven advertising A-boards on town centre streets, in conflict with Bradford Council guidelines on use of the boards.