September 28, 2023

A council meeting said Spider-Man was needed to swoop in and deal with parkour runners causing “significant and costly” damage to roofs in Guildford. Liberals are targeting city hall’s dome and damaging bricks on buildings on Market Street, with one councillor saying he doesn’t know how the problem could have been solved without superhero intervention.

Guildford Borough Council’s chief executive discussed changes to their public space protection order on Tuesday night, agreed to extend the town centre boundaries to include the whole of Stoke Park, neighbouring roads and The Mount and revise some of the activities mentioned within that scope.

But councillor John Redpath (Resident for Guildford and Village, Holy Trinity) said he was concerned when he saw reports of roof running there wasn’t much he outlined as trespassing and therefore not a criminal offence.

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He said: “I don’t know how we can deal with free guys unless Spiderman Rug talks about or something. But the obvious goal was to stand on the roof of the Guildhall. That’s a big challenge.”

He said he recently went up to City Hall to see smashed tiles and holes in the roof along Market Street, things that property owners may only discover when it’s too late.

Cllr Redpath added that another solution might be to place a camera on guildhall like those that “activate when wildlife gets close in the forest” to record who was up there.

The council’s report noted the issue had not yet been raised by the public and recommended actions to Experience Guildford, the town’s business organisation, including receiving legal advice on alternative anti-social behaviour tools, such as civil orders and encouraging businesses in the town centre to improve building security and reporting activity.

Council leader Joss Bigmore (Resident of Guildford and Village, Christchurch) said there would be a conversation with officers about the parkour incident on the town’s roof, saying it “caused quite a bit of damage and could be quite expensive if it continued.”

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