Davey takes graffiti fight to the floor of the Commons
Davey MP calls for tough new measures to combat graffiti
during Commons debate
In a special Commons
debate last week, Kingston MP Edward Davey demanded
Ministers look at new measures to tackle graffiti,
including a new package of tough sentences for vandals
and age limits on the sale of spray paints.
Mr Davey praised the extra resources found by Kingston
Council for cleaning up graffiti and criticised local
Conservative councillors for opposing this clean up.
Speaking after the debate, Edward Davey said, "Graffiti in Kingston has
got so bad, I felt that I had to raise this dreadful
problem on the Floor of the House."
"To beat graffiti vandalism we need a concerted
effort - at national and local level. There is now
agreement that new court orders now coming in force will
at last give magistrates the power to punish offenders
properly, by forcing them to clean up their mess."
"I was disappointed that the Minister rejected
totally the idea of age limits on the sale of spray
paints. However, he was more positive about my idea of
issuing new guidelines to spray paint manufacturers and
retailers, and said he would consider it in the light of
the debate. "
"I have been concerned that Kingston Council has not
been tackling this issue as actively as it should, so I
have written to the Chief Executive highlighting the
powers the Council has, and asking him for a report on
how it is using them. If they aren't strong enough, I've
asked him to let know. "
"Local Conservative councillors in particular appear
to be talking tough in the papers yet failing to
Acting Chief Executive
04 April 2000
Re: Section 12 of the London Local Authorities Act 1995
I have recently taken part in an adjournment debate in
the Commons which focused on the growing problem of
graffiti. As you will know, this is an issue I have
raised with Kingston Council on several occasions.
I am keen to tackle this problem at every level, working
in partnership, and I felt the debate was extremely
useful in highlighting this at a national level.
During the debate, the Minister highlighted Section 12 of
the London Local Authorities Act 1995. He explained that
this act gave powers to local authorities to compel
businesses and/or residents to remove graffiti from their
I would be interested to know if Kingston has ever used
this section of the Act? If it has could you send me a
brief note of how often these powers are used and what
guidelines are provided for officers when using these
It would also be helpful to know, if in your officers'
opinion, it empowers them with sufficient means to make a
real dent in this problem. I am of course aware of the
council's own clean-up activities, and I was delighted to
see that the clean-up budget has been increased, thanks
largely to Liberal Democrat councillors.
I do however find it strange that Conservative
councillors, who talk tough about graffiti in the press,
were opposed to extra resources for cleaning up graffiti.
I am more than happy to meet you to discuss this general
problem and specifically the use of section 12 of the
London Local Authorities Act 1995 to counter-act this
growing tide of criminal activity.
Edward Davey MP