Council refuses to apologise to Studley man cautioned for graffiti clean-up - The Stratford Observer
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12th Aug, 2022

Council refuses to apologise to Studley man cautioned for graffiti clean-up

THERE will be no apology to Craig Hunt who has now twice exposed Studley Parish Council’s inability to promptly remove obscene graffiti.

This was despite calls from two councillors at a recent parish meeting who urged that ‘common sense should prevail’.

And the issue at the heart of the matter – the authority’s failure to deal quickly with graffiti – was not actually addressed but left for another committee to consider at a later date.

But members did agree to withdraw the £277.50 they had expected Mr Hunt to pay for painting over obscene drawings on the village skate park.

The retired bank worker’s story hit the national headlines after councillors sent the police to his door to caution him and tell him of the three-figure bill he faced for his unofficial clean-up operation.

It was the second time Mr Hunt had acted. Earlier in the year he had leapt into action after becoming frustrated that disgusting graffiti sprayed by youngsters on the skate park had been left untouched for three weeks by the council.

That action brought him a rebuke from the council for acting without its knowledge or consent.

This time around the graffiti was reported on July 22, inspected by councillors on July 23, yet nothing was done for days after, prompting Mr Hunt to ignore his warning and again paint over the obscenities.

He was then identified on CCTV, prompting the police to act.

Coun Jill Beard said: “I would like to think that Craig Hunt will get an apology. This turn of events was reported on July 23 and immediate action was requested. Common sense should have prevailed.”

Coun Brian Dixon added: “We carried out the inspection and what we saw was pornographic and in my view whoever did this should pay the whole bill.

“Craig Hunt does a first-class job and, in my view, to get rid of it quickly was not wrong.”

But Coun Jim Bacon was not of the same mind.

He said: “We cannot apologise to him. He cannot do what he wants with other people’s property. It’s a two-way conversation and it was not the first time either.”

Put to the vote, councillors agreed to rescind the bill but voted against issuing an apology.

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