A COUNCILLOR said he was "disgusted" when he found racist graffiti on the towpath by the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

Darren Parkinson, a Shipley town councillor for the Green Party, said he found the graffiti between Shipley and Saltaire and managed to clean most of it off after reporting it to the police.

He said: "I was shocked and disgusted when I saw the graffiti. it was quite sickening to know that someone in our community holds such outrageously racist and hateful views - referring to people from ethnic minorities as 'vermin' and 'dogs'."

Paul House, area operations manager for Canal & River Trust, said: “It is saddening and disgusting to see racist graffiti along the canal – such vandalism and sickening views have no place on our network."

He welcomed Cllr Parkinson's work in cleaning the towpath furniture and added: “We are sending a team down today to remove it, and we will always try to mobilise as quickly as we can for such incidents. Apologies if it takes us slightly longer than usual in some instances due to the restrictions around social distancing.

“We are very grateful for people who report incident like this to us, and we would also like to thank the individual who made efforts to remove some of it themselves.”

Cllr Parkinson added: "I have reported it to the police who are investigating. I am pleased they have taken it seriously - they have visited the location and I have sent them my photos as evidence.

"I was informed about the graffiti through the Hirst Wood Regeneration Group facebook page which i run.

"I have removed graffiti before for Hirst Wood Regeneration Community Group and had some graffiti remover left over so I was able to go and remove it myself as soon as I could.

"I am pleased the graffiti is no longer visible and hope that this is just an isolated incident and that the police are able to find the person who carried this out so it doesn't happen again."

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police had not been able to comment on the incident before the T&A went to press.