A COUNCILLOR has spoken of her disappointment after a memorial bridge paying tribute to those killed in both world wars has been vandalised.

Elizabeth Mallinson, Carlisle City Councillor for Stanwix and Houghton, says she has received a number of complaints from residents and says the problem is escalating.

Graffiti has been reported on the suspension bridge, in Eden Bridge Gardens, in Bitts Park, next to Carlisle Cricket Club and on Etterby Scaur.

Mrs Mallinson said: “I just ask myself, why are they doing it? The cost to remove it is enormous and it takes council staff to take off the paint. It is a very expensive thing.

“Most importantly of all, that bridge is a memorial bridge to people that fell in the First and Second World Wars.

“It is disappointing and it is vandalism. It is not funny, it is not art and it is antisocial behaviour. It is an absolute eyesore.”

Mrs Mallinson added: “It takes time to sort and it takes many hours to clean. It is coming up regularly. It used to be something that used to happen every couple of months, but now it is becoming a fortnightly and weekly thing.

“People have maybe got too much time and they think they are funny or they think they are Banksy, but you are not Banksy, this isn’t art - this is vandalism."

A spokeswoman for Friends of Rickerby Park, who help council staff clean up the graffiti, said: "It is increasing, definitely. I think the best way to stop it is to remove it as quickly as possible.

"The Friends group work with the council and we do jobs in the park and hep out where we can. It makes you break when you see things like this. We are all trying to do good and this is what we see. We all feel very sad."

The spokeswoman has a message for the perpetrators.

"Please think about the meaning behind the park and how you are affecting the people who are visiting not only for recreation but also visiting for quiet reflection," she said.

If you see vandalism, report it to 101@cumbria.police.uk. Alternatively, visit https://tinyurl.com/y6a3dfub.