Memorial for Covid victims moves step closer in badly hit district

Clactons Memorial Gardens on the towns seafront. Picture: Tendring District Concil.

Clacton's Memorial Garden - Credit: Archant

An area of Essex with the second highest death toll per head of population in the UK has moved a step close to a Covid memorial.

The total number of people who died in Tendring within 28 days of their first positive test for Covid-19 stands at 609 since the start of the pandemic.

Equivalent to 413 deaths per 100,000 population, only Castle Point, with 430 deaths per 100,000, has a higher death rate in the UK.

Tendring Council’s Community Leadership Overview and Scrutiny Committee has now agreed a memorial should be established for those who died.

The permanent tribute would be located in the Memorial Garden, Clacton, where a number of services are held throughout the year, including for National Holocaust Memorial Day, VE and VJ Days, Battle of Britain Sunday and Remembrance Sunday.

Final sign-off is set to be made by the full council at a later date.

Tendring Council has been discussing a memorial and annual day of remembrance for those who died of Covid since July, when a motion was passed to recognise that Tendring Council “acknowledges the heartache, pain and suffering” that Covid has inflicted upon its residents and their families, and that the “council supports the provision of a memorial to allow us all to recognise and commemorate the loss of so many loved ones".

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The motion went on to suggest that the memorial should be “situated in a form acceptable to those who have lost loved ones, be that a garden, plaque or public artwork”, and that an annual day of remembrance should be established, when all members of the community could gather together for a service.

Independent Brightlingsea councillor, Graham Steady, whose recommendation it was that the proposals should go to full council for agreement, told the Community Leadership Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday: “We are acknowledging now the sacrifices made and we are acknowledging the people sadly who have lost loved ones.

“I think we should be positive about it and uplifting.

“We have got to be uplifting about it.

“We should go back to full council and go ahead with the memorial in the Memorial Garden and we view it very much as an uplifting initiative for the whole of the district.”

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