‘A cut too far’: South Woodford residents criticise council’s removal of memorial roses
PUBLISHED: 15:29 05 October 2016
The removal of memorial rose bushes by council-hired contractors saw residents “up in arms” this week.
The rose bushes, in Mayfair Gardens, South Woodford, had been there for 35 years, but many have now been totally removed.
Cllr Linda Huggett said: “It’s absolute destruction and it’s bureaucracy gone mad.
“The residents of Mayfair Gardens have spent years maintaining and watering these plants – many of which were dedicated in remembrance.
“Previous contractors have always respected the residents’ wishes and left the rose bushes well alone, but for whatever reason the new ones appear to have decided, or have been told, to remove them.”
Cllr Huggett has received eight emails and 12 phone calls from angry residents she claims are “up in arms” at the “urban vandalism” being committed by the council’s official contractors, Centuria.
She told the Recorder: “So many residents do not have the luxury of a green oasis. This seems like a cut too far.”
A Redbridge Council spokesman apologised for the mistaken removal of the rose bushes, and revealed the council would be setting up a meeting between officers and residents to discuss how best to maintain the remaining flower beds.
He said: “Firstly we would like to apologise for the distress caused to residents by the removal of some of the rose shrubs in Mayfair Gardens. This was never our intention.
“Our records show that this area has only ever been maintained by the Council or its contractors and we were not aware that some local people had planted shrubs or were maintaining plants in the area.
“We will ensure extra effort is made in the future to speak to residents and stakeholders to avoid any repeat of this matter.”
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