Council pledges purge on graffiti

News from: Reading Borough Council

The council intends to embark on a purge of graffiti across Reading by doubling the size of graffiti it will remove for free from private property.

A proposed change in policy would see the Council remove graffiti up to 2m² from non-council owned buildings or property for free. The existing policy is to remove graffiti up to 1m².

The change is expected to allow for the removal of up to 500 additional pieces of graffiti in Reading, on top of 37 sites already proposed to have graffiti removed from them. However, larger areas of graffiti could also be dealt with from this budget, on approval, at a greater cost.

Reading Borough Council also plans to provide up to 20 community removal kits to help empower local community groups to take their own action to rid their neighbourhoods of low-level graffiti.

The clean-up is being funded through £75,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). CIL is a charge applied to developers when they build new housing in Reading, allowing local communities to benefit from the work. It follows an online consultation last year which attracted 171 responses and asked people what they thought CIL money should be spent on locally.

The proposed change in Policy will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on Wednesday 10 November, and the enhanced graffiti removal project report can be viewed here.

Residents can report incidences of graffiti by downloading the Love Clean Streets app from their phone’s app store. This also allows residents to provide images and location details, which will be sent to Reading Borough Council to take action. It can also be reported by calling the council’s contact centre on 01189 373787.

After the appearance of Banksy artwork on the Reading Gaol site in March the council has noted the strong community desire to retain valued street art, and procedures have been proposed to ensure street art that could be of community or economic value is not removed.

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