Texting has become the modern language of the young - and now Kirklees Council is muscling in.

It plans to send information to young people about anything from events, activities, housing vacancies and bus times via their mobile phones.

The year-long Chatback project has secured £66,000 from the council's Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and is scheduled to start on April 1.

Steve Dodson, of Kirklees's customer relations unit, said the project aimed to use `new and innovative' ways to get 13 to 19-year-olds involved with the council and community activities.

He said they decided the best way to do that was by using something that young people were familiar and comfortable with - mobile phones.

It also offers an immediate channel of communication.

The project will initially run in Fartown, Primrose Hill, Newsome, Cowlersley, Botham Hall, Skelmanthorpe and Turnsteads at Cleckheaton, as well as parts of Batley and Dewsbury.

If the scheme is successful it could be extended to adults.

The council wants to recruit about 500 young people to register for the service through a marketing campaign.

"It will be totally voluntary; we will not be forcing people to take part," said Mr Dodson.

"They can stop being part of it whenever they like."

When they register, young people will be able to say which type of service they would like to receive.

A young persons advisory group will be set up to get them involved in the design, development and marketing of the message service.

A report to be presented to a council Cabinet committee says: "Young people, who traditionally have been hard to reach and engage with by council services, could well respond to the use of this technology."

Research conducted for the Oftel watchdog showed that 89% of 15 to 24-year-olds own mobile phones.

Mr Dodson said the project also formed part of the council's e-communications strategy.