People across Bradford who are fed up of living with rubbish and rats have formed a new group aimed at tackling the problem.

Last week the Telegraph & Argus told how residents living near the university were complaining of rats running around where children play and feeding off uncollected rubbish.

Tariq Ali, who had been contacting Bradford Council about the problem, said he had been besieged by calls of support - not just from neighbours but people living across the Bradford area, including Manningham and Bowling.

Mr Ali said: "We have had a great response and we have decided to set up the Bradford Environmental Association. We are getting a team set up to tackle the issues and pressurise the Council. We as ratepayers are not satisfied. In this street our rubbish has not been collected for three weeks."

In Bowling residents say they have nicknamed their dirty street Beirut because it is a rat-ridden illegal dumping ground.

People living in Paley Road say the Council has refused to take the piles of rubbish away. So in the last ten years neighbours have removed about one thousand sacks of refuse themselves in bid to reduce the unofficial tip.

But former civil servant Granville Jackson says the residents have now gone "on strike" in the hope it will force the Council to act.

He said: "We have had a long correspondence with the Council over many years. We have a file like the telephone book.

"We believe it's the worst street in Bradford. It's running with mice and rats. We have been spending our weekends clearing our embankment but in January we decided to no longer do this.

"Property services narrowed the road to make the embankment. Now they say they can't get a truck down because it's too narrow. People come in the night and are fly tipping and the whole place is deteriorating."

He said people living on a nearby caravan site, which has sometimes been wrongly blamed for rubbish, have helped in the clean-up operations.

A Council spokesman said: "There has been no increase in complaints about rats over the last 12 months.

But another spokesman said a Council spokesman said was arrangina a meeting with Paley Road residents on April 14.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.