A SOUTHEND councillor has angrily denied it was wrong to use Southend Council workers to clean graffiti from her garden wall, despite her living outside the borough.

Shortly before the elections on May 6, Conservative councillor Anna Waite had “Vote Labour” sprayed across the wall at her home in Barling, which falls under Rochford District Council’s remit.

She admitted workers from Southend cleaned the paint off, but said she paid for the work.

Mrs Waite said: “Yes, Southend Council workers did clear the vandalism, but I did pay for the work to be done.

“I wanted it done quickly. I approached Rob Tinlin, I stressed I didn’t want any favours, he said he would deal with it. I paid about £150 to have the work done.”

Mrs Waite, who had a similar attack in 2006, reported the incident to the police.

At the time she also admitted: “I think it’s anti-me rather than anti-Conservative”.

Mrs Waite represents St Luke’s, where fellow Conservative Sally Carr narrowly defeated Independent candidate Paul van Looy at the local election earlier this month.

Mr van Looy said: “When this news leaked out, a lot of residents started asking questions.

“Most of them wanted to know how come that graffiti could be cleaned up so quickly when some people in St Luke’s say they have waited for ever to have graffiti on and around their properties cleaned.

“They also wanted to know why Southend Council workers were doing work in the Rochford district.”

Mr Tinlin backed up Mrs Waite’s account of the events.

He said: “What she said is correct. The issue was left with me and it was my decision to use council resources, for which she paid for, to help a Southend councillor.”