Barking and Dagenham council say no to memorial
THE DEVASTATED family of Paul McMillen, who was stabbed to death three years ago, have been told they cannot plant a tree in his memory. Paul s sister Hayley Ketley wanted to create a memorial for her beloved brother at the site where he died in Valence A
THE DEVASTATED family of Paul McMillen, who was stabbed to death three years ago, have been told they cannot plant a tree in his memory.
Paul's sister Hayley Ketley wanted to create a memorial for her beloved brother at the site where he died in Valence Avenue, Dagenham.
She has written to highway officers several times over the last year to try to organise planting a tree or placing a plaque.
But Hayley was told that the council does not approve memorials on public streets to commemorate those that have died in such tragic circumstances.
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Hayley said: "I just want to give friends and family something to remember him by.
"He is still in our hearts and minds.
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"People still leave flowers for him and even cans of Stella because that was his favourite drink.
"It would be nice if there was a proper memorial for them to visit."
The council have told Hayley that instead of planting the tree in Valence Avenue they can plant one in a memorial garden.
But Hayley and the rest of Paul's family feel people might not go to a garden to visit the tree whereas the site where he died is still visited by mourners.
Hayley said: "I feel like I'm getting nowhere with the council.
"Paul's memorial is very important to me and I want to make it happen."
Paul was murdered in October 2006 as he walked his girlfriend home because he was concerned for her safety - he was just 19 at the time.
A council spokesman said: "The Council is extremely sympathetic to residents whose friends or relatives have lost their life on the Borough's streets.
"The Council has a number of excellent cemeteries around the Borough where we encourage people to remember their loved ones in a reflective setting rather than approving a variety of memorials on the roads, footpaths or verges adjacent to heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic movement.