GRAFFITI in Huddersfield town centre is getting worse.

While spray painters continue to target phone boxes, bus shelters and shops, other vandals are beginning to etch their `tags' on large windows.

Raymond Carruthers, planning co-ordinator for Kirklees Council, reported the increasing blight to concerned councillors.

Huddersfield faced the embarrassment of withdrawing its entry from last year's Yorkshire in Bloom contest due to unsightly daubings.

Mr Carruthers, talking about the problem at the Huddersfield Area Committee meeting, said the town's most infamous example was the Trinity Street underpass, beneath the ring road.

It is used by thousands of people each day.

Mr Carruthers said a choice had been made not to remove the paintings from its walls.

"The highways department decided to leave it, because it wasn't offensive and looked quite artistic, really," he said

The subway costs £1,000 to clean.

"If you clean it every week, that's a lot of money," added Mr Carruthers.

On one occasion the underpass was covered in paintings from floor to ceiling just three days after a total clean-up.

The council has a £20,000 budget to spend on removing racially or sexually offensive daubing from non-public buildings. It will always remove paint from municipal buildings.

But Paddock councillor Linda Wild said every piece of graffiti should be removed.

"Graffiti, to a lot of people, indicates an onset of crime. Whether that's true or not, that's the perception. It frightens them."