A COMMUNITY leader trying to clean up graffiti at one of Teesside’s most iconic landmarks says he is disappointed a Government department cannot help.

Andrew Sherris, Stockton borough councillor for Yarm, has been trying to have graffiti on flood walls under Yarm’s railway viaduct cleared.

He says the walls on the riverside walk are owned by The Environment Agency (EA) and argues the agency should clean them.

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However, he has been informed by that there is no money for the work.

Coun Sherris, Conservative, who accepts some graffiti in the area is on privately owned outbuildings, said: “Although we are not satisfied by this (EA) response, it is a predictable answer in the face of a significant reduction in the Environment Agency`s maintenance budget.

"We are told that they can only enter into work that reduces flood risk. This is an attractive area and one enjoyed by locals and visitors to Yarm.

"Photographs of the graffiti will be sent to art departments at our local secondary schools to see if the artist can be identified. Perhaps his or her talents can be harnessed and put to use in a more productive way.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said that the agency had been dealing with major flooding incidents since December and this was the priority at the moment.