Joy as Oldham garden memorial will remain and communal green space will be created


A RESIDENT has expressed her delight after being told an area of a garden memorial she made in tribute to her parents and her friend’s 13-year-old son who died in a fire will not be dismantled – and a communal green space will be created.

Sharon Kerridge, of Mortimer Street, Higginshaw, planted two rose bushes in memory of her late parents Ann and Brian outside her home three years ago and the display has continue to grow and blossom.

Its popularity has grown and there is a space for children to get involved and plant seeds before taking the plants home with them.

Earlier this year, Sharon planted nine sunflowers in memory of her friend Karen Hilton’s 13-year-old son Ryan, who died in a fire in 2005.

Ryan often visited the area around Sharon’s house and liked sunflowers, and at the time the seeds were planted, Karen did not have a garden.

But last month, the council’s highways departments wrote to Sharon, 51, to say it has been reported she was permanently “storing planters, containers and furniture within the carriageway of Mortimer Street”.

She was told this was an offence under the Highway Act 1980 and she needs to remove the items and also “make good any repairs to the grass verge”.

But the local authority has now agreed to help Sharon find a new place for items which are said to have blocked the road and create a “growing area” in the green space next to her garden.

Sharon said: “Two council workers came round to my house and told me they want to work with me and put a communal garden on the croft next to the garden.

“It will be better for everyone and people can come to the croft and enjoy it. I am very happy about it.”

Deputy leader and cabinet member for neighbourhoods at the council, Cllr Amanda Chadderton, is glad an agreement has been reached.

She said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to come to a conclusion that suits everyone.

“As a council we’ll try and work out an issue, rather than go down the enforcement route, if residents are willing to work with us.

“Officers recently visited Sharon and we’ve agreed to work with her and other neighbours to design and create a growing area in a larger piece of green land next to her home.

“We’ll help move some of the plants near to the area. Sharon has also agreed to remove the items from the street that prompted the original complaint to the council.

“My colleagues and local ward councillor Nyla Ibrahim will also be supporting the project and looking to get the community involved in our Don’t Trash Oldham campaign.

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to come to a conclusion that suits everyone.”


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