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Taiyah Peebles: Mum speaks out after daughter's tribute removed

By Ellis Stephenson

A mother has told of her heartbreak at the covering of her daughter's memorial days before Mother's Day.

Hayley Peebles, mother of 16-year-old Taiyah-Grace who died last year at Herne Bay railway station, has spoken of how the tribute to her daughter was covered up.

She claims she was not told before it disappeared over the weekend.

The mural painted in the Taiyah’s former home town of Margate
The mural painted in the Taiyah’s former home town of Margate

"It was a real kick in the teeth two days before Mother's Day," she said.

"We knew it wasn't going to be there forever but it would have been nice to have been told out of respect. Her sisters are absolutely distraught.

"It wasn't graffiti, it was art, people loved seeing it and it brightened up people's day."

Praising the work of the artist who originally created it she Hayley added: "Vince did an amazing job painting it and it's a real shame - they should focus on getting rid of the real graffiti like at Arlington House.

"There's been an uproar from even the general public, people loved it.

"Someone told me that their five-year-old son loved seeing 'the beautiful girl".

"It would be nice if Vince could do another one there or somewhere else in Margate, it really did brighten people's day."

She feels the memorial did not encourage graffiti as there were no 'tags'.

Taiyah Peebles
Taiyah Peebles

In response to backlash from the community a spokesman for Thanet District Council said: "Thanet District Council does not own the property and did not whitewash over the memorial mural.

"Following an increase in complaints about nuisance graffiti, criminal damage and tagging across Thanet, we have been contacting private-property owners about sites that have been affected, giving removal and crime prevention advice and where this guidance has not been followed, issuing notices.

"In December, we contacted the managing agent at Gate Quays as well as several other properties in the Margate Central area.

"A letter of advice and subsequently a warning letter was issued about the tags and writing on the side of the property.

"The mural in the arches of Gate Quays was part of a street art mural project and done with the owner’s permission.

"A follow up email, with accompanying photos indicating the tags to be removed was sent on 28 February."

The spokesman also said owners were not told by the council to remove the mural, however, they do have the right to paint over or renovate it, as well as a responsibility to maintain it.

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