SHABBY post boxes are destroying the splendour of our city, a local politician has insisted.

St Albans Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Sandy Walkington is challenging the Post Office to get a grip on the re-painting of pillar boxes in the district, claiming that many have been left to deteriorate.

He insists some of the pillar boxes in St Albans are rust-stained or faded as a result of neglect, highlighting post boxes outside the parade of shops in High Oaks and Hill End Lane as those in dire need of a touch-up.

Mr Walkington said: “Pillar box red used to be something everyone understood. "Pillar boxes used to gleam in their scarlet livery, but now it seems utterly random whether they are properly painted or just left in a rust-stained faded puce.

“We rightly complain about the way that the current plague of potholes damages the St Albans street scene. That gives the impression that people don’t care about the city and district environment. "Well rust-streaked and blotchy pillar boxes just add to that air of neglect.

“This is a key part of the Post Office brand. But it is also part of Brand UK. Surely it cannot be that difficult to send someone round with a pot of red paint and a brush?"

Jane Warriner, a spokeswoman for the Post Office, said: "We will be looking into complaints about a small number of post boxes in St Albans.

"We have more than 115,000 post boxes nationwide and we would normally operate a three-year maintenance contract whereby boxes would be repainted once every three years - as well as responding to emergencies like vandalism."