Somerset

Grandmother told to remove Banksy-inspired Brexit mural

Mural on the side of a house Image copyright Bridget Smith
Image caption The mural has since been painted over by Ms Smith after North Somerset council got in touch

A grandmother was ordered to remove a Banksy-inspired Brexit mural on the side of her house after a council said it breached advertising rules.

As reported in the Chew Valley Gazette, Bridget Smith, 82, let her grandchildren paint the "Europe says please don't go" design.

But her sign breached the advertising rules of North Somerset Council, which wrote to her asking to remove it.

"I never thought it would be offensive," said Ms Smith, of Winford.

A letter from the council said the "advertisement was unauthorised, and we request it is removed from the land by the 25th February 2019".

It also said she risked a maximum fine of £2,500, with a continuing daily fine of £250 if she did not comply.

Ms Smith said she was "disappointed" by the council's decision.

"People have told me it was funny, and it has given them a lot of pleasure. This is a terrible waste of money and time when the council has problems with funding," she said.

"[Nearby] Bristol is the home of Banksy, and it's wonderful seeing those artworks on display there but it's a different council here," she said.

Image caption Ms Smith said the local reaction to the mural was mostly positive, but North Somerset Council ordered her to remove it

Ms Smith painted over half of the mural before the council's deadline.

A spokesperson for North Somerset Council said: "We received a complaint from a local resident and visited the area.

"We have since written to the householder requesting removal of the advertisement."

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