Virgin Media has teamed up with Preston City Council to tackle graffiti

Getting rid: Workers clean up graffiti
Getting rid: Workers clean up graffiti
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Preston City Council announced an agreement with broadband, cable TV and landline phone provider, Virgin Media to clean up graffiti from their on-street cabinets.

Graffiti is still a major problem in Preston and the surrounding areas with walls, street furniture and even churches being defaced regularly by vandals.

But now, Virgin Media, who are owned by business magnate, Richard Branson, have stepped in to boost the council’s clean up budget to ensure their green cable boxes are kept free from the scrawl.

Coun Robert Boswell, cabinet member for environment, said: “Graffiti is something we are determined to tackle in Preston. The council would prefer to spend £40,000 on other services than cleaning up graffiti.

“Hopefully, when the message get across people might realise the cost of this anti-social behaviour.

“ In the meantime, it is great to be able to work with Virgin Media in order to reduce the impact of graffiti on the local environment.”

The agreement will see the council’s clean environment team receive paint and a sum of £2,500 per year from Virgin Media to either paint over graffiti on cabinets, or apply a layer of anti-defacement coating to cabinets in areas of high risk of vandalism.

Neal Walshe, spokesman for Virgin Media said “We are delighted to be working with Preston Council to combat the anti-social menace of graffiti.

“We are confident that our joint efforts will result in a significant improvement in the local environment”.

Preston City Council currently spends £40,000 cleaning up graffiti in the city each year.

Graffiti is classed as anything which is written, scratched, painted or sprayed on the surface of property.

It ranges from tagging a location with initials through to elaborate paintings and offensive language.

Anyone found to be responsible for acts of graffiti can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £80.00.

Offenders could also face very large fines or imprisonment if the matter is dealt with in court.