A bill for cleaning graffiti off of the wooden enclosure surrounding the remains of the Elizabeth Hall should be sent to Premier Inn bosses.

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That was the suggestion made by Councillor Steve Gazzard after he spotted offensive language and ‘tags’ daubed on to the wooden hoardings surrounding the site, writes David Beasley.

Two weeks ago, town councillors urged district planning enforcers to demand that Whitbread, who own Premier Inn, start building work on a new 60-bed hotel as promised.

They also complained that the area was fast becoming an eyesore and pointed out the graffiti.

A Whitbread spokesman said ‘as a matter of urgency’ they had arranged ‘fortnightly inspections by a local maintenance contractor.’

But at the planning committee meeting on Monday this week, Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “I was down there this morning and it is quite clear that nearly all the hoardings along the whole length of the Bath Road are covered with some form of graffiti.

“Whoever is cleaning it off, be it our contractor or East Devon’s, I hope they have kept a list of the times and the cost so we can send the bill to Whitbread.”

Chairman of the planning committee Councillor Lynne Elson said: “We sent our concerns on January 24 and we didn’t receive a reply until today.

“East Devon District Council has said that they have contacted the Premier Inn team to take the necessary action to remove the graffiti. I’ve been down there today and the graffiti remains. Personally, I think we need to go back to them to express our extreme disappointment that the graffiti hasn’t been removed.

“And as far as we are aware it has appeared that fortnightly inspections have not been going ahead.

“Certainly the graffiti pointed out by Cllr Gazzard seems to be the same graffiti that was there previously.”

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