Wembley High Road already stained with paan just days after cleaning

Paan in Wembley

Paan in Wembley - Credit: Paul Lorber

Brand new paving slabs installed just days ago have already been covered with red spit stains from tobacco chewers. 

A new stretch of pavement in Wembley High Road was completed by Brent Council in early December as part of its wider £3.5 million street improvement plan. 

It is already blighted by stains from paan users, a practice popular in parts of the borough and South Asia, where a tobacco leaf-based mixture is chewed and spat out. 

The council has tried to tackle the issue of paan spitting in Wembley by threatening to fine those caught up to £100. 

Residents said the campaign “clearly isn’t working” and that the situation is “embarrassing” given the recent works. 

Ex-local councillor Paul Lorber said: “The council have put these new slabs in to meet their design guide but they should have known Wembley High Road has a notorious paan spitting problem. 

“The red stain on the pale grey hits you straight in the eye – it’s an unsightly mess.”

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He said it was even more nonsensical given that relatively new, “perfectly good pavement” that was also a darker shade had been ripped up to make way for the council’s slabs. 

Paul said he welcomes the “much needed” improvements in Wembley but suggested the council’s approach had been wasteful. 

He said: “They’ve ripped up lots of things when they didn’t need to. I think they’ve wasted around £1 million and then they wonder why residents get annoyed when they say they don’t have any money.”

Paul also criticised the fact the council chose to remove spray-painted signs as a warning to paan spitters as part of the improvement works. 

He said: “What was the point of doing that if you were just going to get rid of it? It’s another waste of time and effort.”

Councillor Krupa Sheth said: "We are working in partnership with the local community to deter spitting, raising awareness of the impact of paan on the health of those who chew, as well as the negative effects on our community and local businesses who have to put up with stains. We hope these improvements will encourage those who spit to want to take greater pride in their area.”

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