Council leader slams vandalism of LGBTQ+ rainbow pathway

A rainbow-coloured pathway in Tauton has been vandalised with white paint.

The leader of Taunton council says he’s “very disappointed” following a “wilful act of vandalism” that destroyed the town’s LGBTQ+ rainbow pathway. 

A rainbow-coloured pathway celebrating the LGBTQ+ community spanned from Bridge Street and Goodland Gardens in Taunton, Somerset. 

Painted in 2021 in a bid to put the town on the “inclusivity map”, the pathway was vandalised with white paint overnight on Wednesday (10 January). 

In a statement posted to X/Twitter following the vandalism, councillor Tom Deakin, leader of Taunton Town Council, said he was “very disappointed to learn of the wilful act of vandalism committed”. 

Deakin wrote: “More so, given that the nature of the vandalism would suggest that it was motivated by prejudice and intolerance.” 

The councillor confirmed that the crime had been reposted to police, while Somerset Council are assisting with CCTV enquires. 

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“We utterly condemn this act, as well as limiting the use of a public space, it undoubtedly has a negative impact on how our LGBTQ resident feel,” Deakin continued.

The statement added that the white paint will be cleaned away as soon as possible. 

Avon and Somerset Police told PinkNews: “We were called shortly before 9:15am this morning (10 January) to a report that the rainbow path in Goodland Gardens had been painted over.

“Officers attended and are conducting enquiries. Taunton Town Council has also been made aware.

“If you have any information which could help our investigation, please call 101 quoting reference 5224007874.”

According to the BBC, the pathway was intended to last 15 years without the need for maintenance.

Last year, a lesbian couple living in Bristol told PinkNews they were left “heartbroken” after their Pride doormats were stolen and vandalised. 

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.