Council graffiti stunt backfires


A HIGH-profile bid to bust graffiti ended with red faces after a cherry picker broke down – leaving two council workers stranded 40ft above the ground for two hours.

Edinburgh Council summoned journalists to the stunt in Leith where they were launching a big clean-up effort.

But a mechanical fault with the cherry picker left two “specialist cleansing staff” stranded high above the streets before they had deployed their brushes.


The two stranded workers


The event was scrapped after officials were unable to fix the problem and the two men were left in the air for two hours, next to a Tesco store in the city’s Duke Street, awaiting rescue.

As officials scratched their heads wondering how to get their employees down, the men had to suffer taunts from highly-amused colleagues.

Neither of the men – both called Dave – wished to comment on their predicament.

Over the two hours a string of council vehicles was summoned  to attempt to get the cherry picker working, but were unable to assist their stricken colleagues.

Eventually a second cherry picker was dispatched and successfully lowered the pair to safety.

The event was part of a three week event which plans to improve the appearance of the streets of Leith. It aims to remove graffiti, stickers, posters and cable ties from buildings and structures such as  bus stops, lamp posts, phone boxes and post boxes in the area.

City Environment Convener Lesley Hinds had praised the initiative. She said: “One of our key commitments of the Capital Coalition is to maintain and improve the quality of life in Edinburgh and Shipshape Leith is a fine example of this in action.”

The council had also  made Friday volunteer day, calling for local residents to come along and help out with the clean-up operation.

A Council spokesman said: “Shipshape Leith was a great success today with nearly 50 people, including many volunteers, helping to clean up the streets. The project is continuing for the next two weeks and I’m happy to report that the two staff on the cherry picker which broke down are safely back on ground level and the graffiti will be cleared soon.”

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  1. The publicity stunt was successful in generating visibility. Congrats to your community for tackling the difficult and expensive problem of graffiti vandalism. Why stop graffiti? The vast majority of people don’t care for it and are offended by a disrespectful few who impose their tag names and such on the rest of us. You don’t have to be a graffiti expert to see how expensive clean-up of graffiti vandalism is. How do you stop graffiti? As documented at , prompt removal of graffiti is an important place to start. Meaningful penalties embodied in graffiti laws and aggressive enforcement are important as well. Yet graffiti prevention also involves fostering attitudes that see graffiti for what it is. It certainly isn’t freedom of speech, harmless self expression or art. Graffiti hurts us all since it is a very damaging and costly form of vandalism.

    • Asked not to comment? Your a council worker not a slave! You have the fredom of speech and if you don’t say anything this will get brushed under the carpet. The job didn’t go to plan, it’s the council tho so you should never expect the vehicles to work when needed. And did anyone say thanx very much for your time and the slagging yous got??
      So whens the next attempt to get this graffiti removed??

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