CITY OF YORK Council will be asked tonight what it is doing to support efforts to stage York's Mystery Plays again in 2005.

Independent councillor Janet Hopton plans to raise the Mystery Plays issue at a full council meeting at the Guildhall.

She said she had followed closely the Evening Press campaign to keep the historic Plays tradition alive, following news that they will not be staged next year in line with a four-yearly cycle.

The campaign resulted last week in the formation of a Plays association, which will aim to stage the Plays again in the Museum Gardens, if possible in 2005. A working party has been set up by the association to examine feasibility.

The council has previously offered to provide advice and assistance to people campaigning to stage the Plays again, and Keith Orrell, executive member for leisure, has offered to go on a prospective Plays board.

Coun Hopton intends asking council leader Steve Galloway tonight: "In view of the widely agreed importance of the Mystery Plays to the City of York, what is the council doing to support the efforts being made to stage a production in 2005?" She will also ask about financial support.

She told the Evening Press she believed the council should provide full support, including financial assistance, to something that was of great importance to the city's tourist economy, as well as of spiritual importance.