Anger at bid to remove memorial

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Daniel Chong

Daniel Chong © Facebook RIP Daniel Chong

The family of a teenager who was killed in a bike crash have been left devastated after Wirral Council told them to remove a memorial to him on a local park.

The decision sparked outrage among the local community who use the hut in Upton Park, Moreton, as a place of comfort to remember Daniel Chong, 16.

Lynne Chong, Daniel’s mother, is devastated at being told to remove the memorial she has so lovingly cared for since Daniel’s death, after he lost control of an off-road scrambler bike he was riding in Bromborough last August.

Lynne told JMU Journalism: “I am constantly being told how clean and tidy the area around the hut is now, how the people who go are respectful and pick up litter and put it in the bins provided. I am inundated with messages about how people love sitting in the shelter and how peaceful they find it. These are people who have never used the hut before but do so now as it is so peaceful and calming.”

Friends, family and community members have taken to Facebook to voice their disgust at the family being asked to remove the memorial and plan on starting a petition in order to change Wirral Council’s mind.

Carole Edwards said: “How devastating and utterly pointless, why would they do this? I don’t know you and never knew Daniel but have followed your bereavement, I think the hut is a beautiful tribute to his memory and to remove everything will benefit no one.”

Christine Clarke said: “Typical red tape and bureaucracy, what harm is being done its all good they should have a heart and put themselves in Daniel’s mum’s shoes maybe then they would understand and be human for a change.”

Ronnie Rafferty said: “It was just an empty shell when parks and countryside where supposed to look after it. Lynne has made the hut a perfectly fitting tribute to Daniel and even made the hut a much nicer place in the park to look at.”

Upton Park memorial to Daniel Chong

Upton Park memorial to Danile Chong © Facebook RIP Daniel Chong

Nicola Lamb Murphy said: “I find this so disgusting, I am a dog walker and my nephew Tobi was a friend of Dan’s, I was only down there the other day with my daughter and we were saying how lovely it is how so many people go there to think of Dan, how lovely it is kept and they even have a bin there for the rubbish.

“It would be so cruel to take the use of that hut away for everybody who knew and loved Dan, and most of all his mum and brother who are truly heartbroken but go there to be close to their lovely brother and son.”

The family and people concerned have been offered  help via Facebook from local councillor Ian Lewis, who was not consulted on the decision to remove the memorial, and does not believe the removal will benefit the community.

Councillor for Leasowe and Moreton East, Ian Lewis, said: “Neither I, nor the other three councillors you have listed, have asked for this or have been consulted by the Council’s Parks and Countryside Department. If someone would like to message me the name of the person who has asked for this, I’ll see what I can do.”

About Lucy Baines, JMU Journalism