TOUGH new powers to combat graffiti have come into force in Kirklees.
The measures will enable the council to clean up phone boxes, railway bridges and other places if public utility companies fail to do it within a set time.
The cost would then be charged back to the owner.
Twelve councils are involved in the Government's pilot Operation Scrub-It scheme.
Neighbourhood wardens in the areas are being equipped with free gear from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to remove graffiti.
Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: "Graffiti is criminal damage and an eyesore which blights communities.
"It affects people's quality of life, increases fear of crime and reduces pride in a community."
The new powers were welcomed today by Kirklees Council.
Environment director Janet Russell said: "We expect to work in partnership with the utility companies in the knowledge that we have the enforcement powers to ensure that they take responsibility for the condition of their property."