FOR several years the North Laine Community Association has been trying to get the Royal Mail to clean unsightly graffiti tags off their sorting office in North Road in Brighton, to no avail.

We want to help.

The rear of the sorting office, which backs on to the popular tourist route from the station down Gloucester Road, has been repeatedly vandalised.

Not only do tags lower the image of the Post Office, they provide a hostile welcome for visitors to the North Laine and the city of Brighton and Hove.

This brings shame to the neighbourhood as well as to Royal Mail itself, yet they have responded by cleaning it only once in the past six years. Keeping on top of tagging is of course an ongoing endeavour.

Once tags are allowed to remain in situ they attract more tags which spread like a malignant tumour to adjacent buildings. This causes heartache, not to mention cost, to nearby residents and businesses.

For instance, residents of Frederick Gardens (whose houses face the western wall of the sorting office) have been forced to keep them tag free for over 20 years at their own expense.

Post boxes bearing the Queen’s insignia across the city are covered in tags and no attempt is made to clean them. Even Royal Mail vans are not immune.

So perhaps it’s time the company, which was privatised in 2013, stopped pretending it represents the Queen.

Fed up with the situation, volunteer residents have formed an anti-tagging taskforce. In a letter dated January 22, 2019 they requested permission to work with the Post Office to clean up the tags but have so far not received a response.

One would have thought that a mural – possibly a set of stamps or other associated and appropriate images – would have been a welcome alternative. Yet following such a suggestion, an email response from Trevor Edge of the “Escalated” Customer Resolution Team stated “In terms of mural (sic) this would go against the branding for the business so isn’t a viable option.”

Apparently, murals are out yet tags are tolerated – even against the wishes of North Laine residents, their community association and the elected representatives of Her Majesty’s Government. One can only imagine that the Queen would not be amused.

Gareth Davies Julia Wilde

NLCA Anti-tagging task force co-ordinators