ANOTHER wave of vandalism has hit Keighley’s Town Hall Square, triggering an angry response from a town councillor.

An obscenity was painted onto the square’s paving, and graffiti gouged into two of the square’s benches, including one bench placed in memory of a long-serving town councillor and ex-mayor who died in 2012.

The writing carved into the benches was spotted on October 27, while the vandalism to the paving is believed to have been carried out a couple of days earlier.

Cllr John Kirby, chairman of the Keighley Town Council committee responsible for looking after the square and its war memorial, said he would be pushing for security cameras to be installed to deter or catch the thugs responsible.

Cllr Kirby said a recent world-record planting effort in the square by gardener Steve Thorpe was interrupted by a street drinker who was abusive towards Mr Thorpe’s supporters and charged at Mr Thorpe’s son Joe who was filming the planting.

“We’ve also been told about people being accosted and asked for money in the square,” he said. “It’s not just begging where someone asks if you’ve got a few bob, it’s more like ‘give us your money’.

“It’s an ongoing occurrence and it can’t go on like this. That’s why we’re pushing for CCTV to be put up.”

He added the latest graffiti on the benches and paving had been cleaned off, but said it was unacceptable that so much time and effort is having to be spent on the problem.

He said if the vandalism had occurred only a couple of days before this weekend’s Remembrance Sunday service, it would have been difficult to have it cleaned up in time for the service.

As reported in the Keighley News in September, the soldier’s statue on the square’s memorial was damaged by someone who climbed the railings surrounding the monument and bent the statue’s bayonet.

At the time, Cllr Kirby warned that some people were ripping up plants from the square’s award-winning flower beds and using a corner of the square as an open air toilet.