Skip to main content

Home News News UK

Taunton Councillor condemns rainbow path vandals as residents respond online

"I walk that route twice a week and it's a shame to see this has happened," one resident has said

By Alastair James

Taunton pathway
The vandalised pathway in Taunton (Image: Michael Asher)

A Taunton Town Councillor has “utterly” condemned those behind the vandalisation of a Pride pathway in the Somerset town.

The path between Bridge Street and Goodland Gardens, first decorated with the colours of the Progress Pride flag in 2021, was vandalised in the early hours of Wednesday (10 January).

Images show the inclusive walkway being partially covered over by white paint. Responding on Wednesday, the leader of the town’s council, Tom Deakin, said he was “very disappointed to learn of the wilful act of vandalism.”

Deakin also said, “the nature of the vandalism would suggest that it was motivated by prejudice and intolerance.” He went on to say that Avon and Somerset Police are investigating and they are seeking CCTV footage. People with information have been advised to contact the police using crime reference number AS-20240110-0213.

“We utterly condemn this act,” Deakin continued. “It undoubtedly has a negative impact on how our LGBTQ residents feel.”

Deakin also confirmed that the council is working with GoCreate to restore the pathway.

“This act of vandalism doesn’t reflect upon what Taunton and the surrounding areas stand for”

“So sad that someone has clearly worked so hard In trying to destroy our fantastic rainbow path,” wrote one person on social media. “Sad that in 2024 still someone so bigoted against the lgbt community that they vandalise this,” they added.

Another resident said they were “heart broken” at the “senseless hate crime in our county town.”

And another resident commented that it was “incredibly disappointing.” They further explained: “I walk that route twice a week and it’s a shame to see this has happened. Taunton’s always been a welcoming place for LGBT+ people and this act of vandalism doesn’t reflect upon what Taunton and the surrounding areas stand for.”

Sadly, the posts from Deakin and Taunton Town Council have also attracted some less than supportive responses. One person questioned: “What is wrong with a black asphalt pathway?”

Another criticised Taunton Town Council for forcing “woke gender ideology” on its residents.

Someone else made a colossal jump from the harmless and inclusive pathway to suggest that painting it in the first place indicated the “council’s financial position is so strong that it can afford to spend money pushing men into women’s sports and vulnerable spaces, and children onto a sterilisation pathway.” They then enquired about council tax cuts.

“I think you might be a bit mistaken if you think the public care about this as much as you do,” wrote another. Others also deemed the rainbow pathway a “waste” of money and resource. “Shame they didn’t cover it all,” posted someone else.