Vandals daub Ali G-style graffiti on former civic hall

Graffiti on the walls of the Rose Centre in Lowton
Graffiti on the walls of the Rose Centre in Lowton

Laughable Ali G-style graffiti daubed on the walls of Lowton’s defunct civic hall has been branded “idiotic” by residents.

Gangland-style slogans more suited to the Bronx than one of the leafiest areas of the borough and appalling foul-mouthed tirades against the police were sprayed on the wall of the Rose Centre last week.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G

Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G

One even warns that the “Feds” - slang for US law enforcement agency the FBI - are not welcome in Lowton.

The building now appears to have closed its doors for good following the vandalism which has sparked outrage in the community.

The graffiti is believed to be the final straw in terms of keeping the building, which is currently up for sale, open.

A post on Facebook by a group organising soul nights at the Hesketh Meadow venue written on August 4 said they were told the building was closing with immediate effect, just 24 hours after the slogans were spotted.

Local councillors and residents’ groups are assisting the police to find the daubers and say the net is closing in on those responsible.

Coun James Grundy, elected member for Lowton East and Wigan Council’s deputy leader of the opposition, said: “Obviously we are concerned about this vandalism and we are working with the police to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“We suspect we know who is causing this anti-social behaviour and are working towards getting the evidence together for the police to deal with them.”

The incident has caused a stir online. One post said: “What a let down for Lowton, it used to be such a lovely village. ”

Rose Leisure, which owns the venue, was contacted for comment but did not reply.

While many residents were upset and disappointed by the graffiti, others took to Facebook to take a light-hearted pop at Lowton’s self-styled massive.

One wrote: “What fuels their hatred of pigs so much. I like the little creatures,” while another posted: “Banksey must be worried!” Others pointed to a lack of facilities to engaged local youngsters.

The venue which once hosted scores of community events for Lowton residents now looks like it faces an uncertain future.

A planning application has been lodged with Wigan Council to turn the land now occupied by the Rose Centre into 36 houses.

The proposal is currently pending consideration.

However, councillors and residents’ groups such as the Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum (Lendf) say the houses will be too close to the proposed HS2 line to make it possible to sell them.

Residents on Facebook reacting to the graffiti incident have called for the now-shut building to be demolished before it becomes a magnet for anti-social behaviour.