A NEW scheme to stop the illegal sale of alcohol to youngsters is spreading to Calderdale.

Trading Standards officers believe the Proof of Age scheme, which will be launched on Thursday, will curb many problems.

They are concerned about the number of illegal sales of alcohol, cigarettes and other age- restricted products.

The scheme has worked well so far in other parts of West Yorkshire.

Officers will visit high schools and secondary schools all over Calder- dale and issue photo identity cards to students aged between 16 and 18.

They will also tour shops to urge retailers to adopt a "No Card, No Sale" approach to young customers.

Clr Graham Clarke, chairman of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said: "I am delighted the Proof of Age scheme is coming to Calderdale.

"I hope it will be as much of a success as it has been in Wakefield and Leeds and we will see a reduction in the number of youngsters being able to buy such products as alcohol, tobacco and fireworks."

So far some 10,000 cards have been issued across the county. There are plans to extend the scheme to Kirklees soon.