A STOURPORT town councillor is calling on Worcestershire County Council to take immediate action to remove graffiti from the town’s bridge.

Jamie Shaw, Labour councillor, said there had been graffiti on the lower part of the bridge itself and on the staircase leading to and from the riverbank for several weeks.

He said that if the county council failed to take action it would give the vandals “carte blanche” to further graffiti the town.

He explained that the vandalism also undermined a recent £1.5 million award winning renovation and repainting of the bridge.

Mr Shaw said: “The bridge is quite heavily graffitied. It is unsightly and if it is just left there things could get a lot worse.

“That would just be seen as carte blanche for more graffiti. It is terrible. What a statement it makes about public authorities.”

He added: “Graffiti is one of those things that we just have to keep on top of. If we just tolerate it it will balloon to awful proportions.

“We can’t get rid of the problem entirely but we can certainly discourage it.”

He explained: “The bridge is the county council’s responsibility. They should take action now - the quicker the better.”

Mr Shaw said that graffiti could potentially deter visitors to the town and give them a bad impression of the area.

He added that it was an ongoing problem and that a town centre working group had been set up to combat the problem.

He explained that under this system a named person was responsible for each street in the town centre and could be called on to help remove any graffiti.

Richard Attwood, the county council's engineering project manager, said: "We will be inspecting the graffiti reported on Stourport Bridge and will consider the options once this inspection has taken place.

“We are proud of the £1.5 million renovation works which have recently been completed on the bridge and these efforts have been rewarded with a host of external awards, most recently a silver in the Green Apple Awards 2009 for preservation of the built environment and architectural heritage.

“We aim to ensure the county council's bridges are maintained and well looked after and are a landmark which residents are also proud of."

For more details about the town centre working group, contact the town council clerk, Dennis Rook, on 01299 877214.

The bridge’s graffiti will be the subject of a motion at the meeting of the town council on October 6.