Council cleaning blunder

A council's said sorry for washing away chalk drawings teenagers created during a half-term activity day, just hours after they were finished.

A workman turned up to clean the pavements outside Milton Keynes' Central Bus Station on the morning of Friday 29 October 2010.  Many of the teenagers who had taken part in the 'Big Draw' event, which had only finished at 8pm the night before, had planned to go back later on Friday to see the fruits of their work.

The workman was photographed cleaning away the artwork on Friday morning (picture, right).

Event organiser Danny Quinn from the group Make A Difference has been telling Heart the event was needed to give young people in Milton Keynes something to do.

"There's always this 'What is there for us to do?  What can I do?  I want something more in my city.'  It's frustrating to see that a one-day activity in a half-term, that was free, has totally gone in a matter of hours.

"It was simple chalk on the pavement.  There was no permanent damage, no permanent marks.  The rain would have washed it away if it had rained that night.  There was no need for a jet wash, chemicals, a council intervention."

In a statement given to Heart, Milton Keynes Council say "we are sorry for the children involved that the graffiti style artwork was removed.  However, we work hard to remove graffiti throughout Milton Keynes on both our land and with an ongoing agreement with the Homes and Communities Agency who own the land in question.

"Neither ourselves or HCA were informed of the event so our team cleaned the area in good faith.  We are surprised that the person taking photos of the clean-up did not come over to our cleaning team who would have been happy to stop once they became aware it was an art project for Hallowe'en."

Make A Difference say the HCA did know about the event.  The HCA have also since apologised that the clean-up happened.