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Grieving mum told to remove memorial from Wirral park
THE grieving Wirral mother of a teenager killed in a bike crash is "determined" to keep a special memorial set up following his death.
Lynne Chong, from Moreton, said she was "shocked" when Wirral Council told her that heartfelt tributes had to be removed from a hut in Upton Park.
The small hut was transformed into a lasting memory to 16-year-old Daniel in the wake of the tragic incident last summer and features flowers, messages, candles and lanterns.
Friends of the talented sportsman had used the shelter as a place to grieve quietly or share their memories while Lynne used it to reminisce about her son.
Now council officers have asked Lynne and her family to remove the items but she said she will fight any decision which would take the memorial away from the community.
She said: "I had a telephone call from the council telling me I needed to remove the stuff from the hut.
"I asked if there had been any complaints or concerns about it and he said no but that the hut had never been a memorial hut, just a hut.
"The hut was a mess before with litter and rubbish everywhere but now people respect it and it’s lovely there.
"There are lights and candles, and his friends left Christmas presents there for him as well as cards after his GCSE results day last year.
"It wasn't my idea to turn it into a memorial, it just kind of snowballed after he died and his mates can go and sit there to think about him or have a bit of a cry.
"It's brought me so much comfort too because it’s calm and relaxing – I can read all the funny stories about him and I have a little giggle to myself."
Wallasey School student Daniel died on August 5, 2012 after he lost control of the scrambler bike he was driving in Bromborough.
The local community quickly got behind the hut and got involved with charity events to raise funds for a bench and memorial plaque.
Lynne added: "My other son Lewis has told me how much better it looks now and how much more it is looked after by everyone.
"Other people such as dog walkers have said that it’s so nice to see something lit up in the field of a night-time and that they feel much safer.
"I am determined that we won't lose the hut and if we don't manage to change the council’s mind at this stage, I will launch a petition which I’m sure will gather a lot of support."
Leasowe and Moreton East councillor Ian Lewis has also backed Daniel’s family and said the local authority should re-think their requests.
He said: "I would hope the council recognises the overwhelming support the local community is giving Daniel's family and that removal at this time of the tributes to him is too soon.
"Emotions are still running very high and I would urge the Council to reconsider."
A Wirral Council spokesman said: "We understand the importance and significance of this memorial to Daniel's family and friends, but we also have a duty to other users of the park to respond to their concerns.
"We are in discussions with the Chong family and other people in the community about providing a more permanent memorial to Daniel within the park."