A 300-year-old monument erected on Haverfordwest Old Bridge in memory of the work of a highly respected 18th century town mayor has been defaced by vandals.

The memorial stone was sprayed with what appears to be blue paint back in April, but despite numerous calls on Pembrokeshire County Council to remove the marks, the Grade II listed monument remains clearly defaced.

“This presents a very poor picture of our civic pride,” commented Ray Conolly who has been one of the main instigators to have the memorial stone returned to its rightful condition.

“It was defaced with blue paint back in April, and I contacted Pembrokeshire County Council the following week to report it, when I could see that the paint hadn’t been removed.

“Our town is heavily reliant on tourism, and vandalism such as this, paints a very poor picture of our town's civic pride.”

After waiting patiently for two weeks and still seeing no sign of the stone being cleaned, Mr Conolly contacted his MP, Stephen Crabb.

“Mr Crabb  suggested that I contacted the local county councillor which I did and there was still no reply.

"I sent another email to Pembrokeshire County Council about it several days ago and once again I'm still waiting for a reply.

"What does it take to persuade Pembrokeshire County Council to send someone round with a bucket of hot soapy water and a scrabbing brush?”

But county councillor Thomas Baden Tudor states that the task will involve considerable more preparation.

“The ground maintenance team are currently seeking advice on how to effectively clean the monument as it’s Grade II listed and naturally care must be taken to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged.”

Cllr Tudor went on to say that he has also sent requests to the county council to have the stone cleaned on two separate occasions but he himself, is still awaiting confiramtion on how - and when - the cleaning work will proceed.

“Only yesterday I went to look at the damage that’s been caused and it’s obvious that they’ll have to be very careful about what chemicals they use in order not to destroy the integrity of the monument,” he said. “Soap and water is clearly not going to work.”

The stone was erected in 1726 by Sir John Philips of Picton Castle in memory of town mayor Michael Prust.

The stone reads that it was repaired in 1829 ‘on the tenth year of the reign of His Majesty King George the Fourth who past over the bridge on his return from Ireland on the 13th day of September 1821’.