I am sure many of your readers will have welcomed the prominence your newspaper has recently given to the scourge of hideous graffiti afflicting this borough.

Most of the daubings -- far from being creative or artistic -- are little more than crude or meaningless slogans and patterns which merely lower the tone of the environment, already damaged enough by the litter-stricken state of so many of Barnet's streets.

The responsibility for tackling graffiti falls not just on the shoulders of the council and the police, but also on those of teachers and parents. Defacing the property of others (private or public) should surely be portrayed by society for what it is -- a destructive and criminal act, no less deserving of firm punishment than theft and violence.

Your correspondent Stewart Smith (August 20) may, however, be assured when I criticised the concept of special graffiti walls (something which Labour and Liberal Councillors have favoured from time to time) I did not have Young London's mural project in mind. If the mural project was promoted for the purpose of harnessing the artistic talents of youngsters, it sounds very positive. It has no connection with the misguided notion of an officially designated area, set aside for mindless scribblers to gratify their anti-social inclinations.

Councillor Brian Gordon

Conservative, Hale Ward,

London Borough of Barnet

Hendon Town Hall

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.