Fines for businesses who do not clear graffiti could be scrapped in review

Fines for business owners who do not clear graffiti could be scrapped <i>(Image: The Argus)</i>
Fines for business owners who do not clear graffiti could be scrapped (Image: The Argus)

Fines for small businesses that do not clear graffiti tags could be scrapped under plans from the new Labour council.

Introduced by the former Green administration, the policy gave shop owners a date by which they were “legally obliged” to remove graffiti from their property or face being fined.

However, the measure was criticised by businesses for punishing the victims of criminal damage.
Oliver Crawley, who co-owns Blend Coffee Co in Station Road, Portslade, said his business was visited by “passive-agressive” enforcement officers after his shopfront was tagged.

He criticised the policy and said: “No businesses have been spoken to about it and we’re effectively being penalised and having to put the bill for criminal damage.

“It’s an added cost we don’t need right now but it’s also the cost in terms of the time it takes to clean it.”

Council leader Bella Sankey announced that Brighton and Hove City Council would review the policy “immediately”.


In a post on Twitter, she said: “We’re committed to improving the look of our city and that means clearing up unsightly graffiti while providing more space for public art.

“But it can never be right to penalise small businesses in this way.

“We’re reviewing these fines immediately.”

The policy is one of several made by the Green administration under review by the new Labour council.

In a column for The Argus, Cllr Sankey detailed other decisions of the Green council being looked at by the new administration, including ther pedestrianisation of Gardner Street in the North Laine.

She said: “My first priority is to review various decisions of the last Green administration.

“We’ve ordered a review into the pedestrianisation of Gardner Street in the North Laine which has reportedly led to a disabled resident who previously had a disabled bay outside her house being made house-bound.

“The rights of all residents in our city will be of paramount importance to our administration.”

Labour secured the first majority-controlled council in 20 years last month at the local elections, winning 38 of the city council’s 54 council seats.