VANDALS have been slammed for drubbing graffiti over a Teignmouth underpass.

The walkway near Teignmouth railway station was part of a scheme to brighten up the town and work had been started on a new mural for the walls.

But the preparations have been spoiled by the graffiti scrawled over the paint work.

Now councillors have picked up paintbrushes themselves to help repair the damage.

Councillors Martin Wrigley, Penny Lloyd, Dan Comber and David Cox, took less than an hour to paint over the graffiti marks with community artist and youth worker Sam Lock.

She said: ‘I was really touched by the kindness.’

Cllr Cox said: ‘This is really sad after all the efforts the group has made to brighten up Teignmouth.

Graffiti can blight communities by creating a threatening, unwelcoming environment.’

Work on the underpass began last year when the community scheme, led by Sam, was awarded funding by the Lottery Community Fund and gained the support of county councillors through their locality budgets.

The underpass is among a number of schemes aimed at providing artwork in the community to enhance the town.

The scheme got started in October with the structure being prepared ready for the design and volunteers were due to begin painting in the coming weeks.

Proposals for the design came from months of planning and discussions with community groups and organisations.