AN ACTION group has formed to lobby Kirklees Council for improvements to ‘troubled areas’ of Huddersfield town centre.

The move to form Huddersfield Businesses and Community Group has come less than a month after a 200-strong petition was collected calling for a clean-up of the town centre.

Those who signed the petition claimed the area has been blighted by litter including beer cans and cigarettes and attracts anti-social drinkers to congregate in St Peter’s Gardens.

Secretary of the group Charles Jones said: “Our group has been formed because of the decay of Huddersfield town centre, particularly over the last 10 years or so. It is unacceptable.

“We cannot be expected to tolerate further years of worsening conditions.

“Many of us have businesses to run and we do not want to spend time on these matters which should perhaps have been dealt with by others before we reached this stage.

“But we are where we are, we have to put the past behind us and go forward.

“We are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to provide our staff and our customers with an environment which is clean, safe and attractive.”

The group took the decision to form after a public meeting earlier this week.

Other areas where problems have been reported include The Byram Arcade and Spring Grove areas of the town.

Kirklees Council has so far responded to demands and has revealed a pot of cash will be made available for “instant” fixes.

This will not affect strategic planning for the town centre, but act as rapid response fund which, where necessary, could be used to pay private contractors to carry out clean-ups more quickly.

Police have also increased patrols of the town centre in a bid to crack down on drinking in public places.

In a joint operation last week they teamed up with representatives from housing organisations, Horton Housing and Stonham, and drug and alcohol services Lifeline, On Track and the Kirklees Open Forum in the search of street drinkers.

The first meeting of the action group will be held at Keys Restaurant on Monday August 22 at 6pm.

Councillors and appropriate Kirklees officials will be invited to attend and discuss present problems and solutions.

Have you been affected by grot spots in the town centre? Email