Call for graffiti to be properly tackled in the City Centre - "a right old mess" say councillors

7 Feb 2024

Two Dundee councillors have said the City Council really must get a grip on the graffiti issue across Dundee City Centre.  Some of it – particularly in the Murraygate area – has been there for months. This does nothing to promote the City Centre, they say.      

These include :

+ Former Tesco/DW Sports site

+ Former HSBC site

+ Former Thorntons site

+ Most of the lanes/alleyways off Murraygate including Peter Street, Horse Wynd, Meadow Entry etc

LibDem Group Leader Cllr Fraser Macpherson said:

 “All of this graffiti on Murraygate and adjacent pends much of it on empty shop units has been there for ages.”

“I have reported this before to the council and even mentioned it some weeks ago at a public council committee meeting but the graffiti is still there and it does nothing to promote our city centre and is dispiriting for adjacent businesses and shoppers. We do appreciate these are privately owned but the council has to engage with the building owners to allow the Rapid Response Team to work with owners to get rid of all this mess.”

His group colleague Depute Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Councillor Craig Duncanadded:

 “I have also reported other graffiti sites – for example in the Seagate and the former Antalia restaurant in Crichton Steet. We very much take the view that very regular liaison between the council and owners of vacant shop units is vital to ensure we don’t see long-term graffiti in our City Centre.”  

“Ideally graffiti should be removed immediately it takes place and the full force of the law should come down on the vandals that are responsible for this mess.”

Councillor Macpherson, some weeks after raising the Murraygate long-term graffiti, followed this up with a formal concern to the Head of Economic Development and Planning at the council who has now responded as follow:

“The Rapid Response Team in Neighbourhood Services is deployed to remove graffiti, where possible, quickly throughout the city centre.  However, where it involves privately owned properties, it can be more protracted as the responsibility rests first with the business/leaseholder.  The City Centre Manager is liaising with private owners to try and address this issue.  I anticipate that there will be improvement in some of the properties you have identified in the near future.”

“In addition to graffiti removal, as part of the Take Pride in Your City Private Sector sub-group, a city centre community clean-up is planned in the next few weeks.  This will support efforts to work with local businesses/communities of interest over the course of several days to tackle these types of issues.”

Cllr Macpherson added:

“The Liberal Democrat Group has raised the issues in Murraygate for a long time and, to be fair, the recent report to committee on investment in the so-called “Eastern Quarter” including Murraygate and Commercial Street on streetscape improvements is welcome.”   

“However, engagement with empty non-domestic shop unit owners is absolutely vital – not just on the graffiti mess but also around getting empty shops back into a positive use.”