Council mix-up sees memorial tree planted in honour of Sudbury in Bloom member Philip Briggs uprooted

Jenny Briggs with family and friends from the Sudbury in Bloom committee when Philip Briggs' memoria

Jenny Briggs with family and friends from the Sudbury in Bloom committee when Philip Briggs' memorial tree was planted at a ceremony in 2008.

The widow of a well-known Sudbury gardening enthusiast was left upset and bemused after a tree planted in memory of her late husband disappeared.

Jenny Briggs with two Sudbury in Bloom committee members, former Sudbury mayor John Sayers and Mr To

Jenny Briggs with two Sudbury in Bloom committee members, former Sudbury mayor John Sayers and Mr Tony Wheeler when Philip Briggs' memorial tree was planted at a ceremony in 2008.

The Ginkgo tree was planted on a bank off Canterbury Road in 2008 to mark the passing of Philip Briggs, who died in 2006 at the age of 64. He was an enthusiastic member of the Sudbury in Bloom committee and was instrumental in organising, designing and developing many of the eye catching summer floral displays around the town.

But when Jenny Briggs ventured out of her nearby home last Thursday, she was surprised to see that her special tree had gone.

She said: “I contacted the council and eventually discovered that it had been dug up and moved by mistake.

“They had relocated it to another area where they were planting some new trees but no-one told me they were going to do it which was quite upsetting.


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“The council were very apologetic and on Tuesday they put it back where it belongs, which is a big relief.

“They have assured me that if it doesn’t survive as a result of having been dug up, then they will replace it with a new one.”

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A spokeswoman for the district council said Mr Briggs’ memorial tree had been moved due to a “mix-up in communications” to bring it in line with new trees that have been planted on county council land at the entrance to Chaucer Estate.

Residents and local county councillors have raised concerns that the new trees when fully grown could pose a visibility problem for motorists exiting the estate onto Melford Road.

County highways officers confirmed they had not been consulted about the planting and although they have no immediate concerns, they intend to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile a Babergh spokesman said: “The tree plant that is being carried out in Babergh is a replacement tree planting programme for those that have been removed in recent years.

“As a local authority we have a duty to maintain our open spaces, whether they are verges, streets or parks, and comply with the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006). This ensures we encourage biodiversity and landscape value.

“We are very sorry that a mix-up in communications led to Mr Briggs’ memorial tree being moved.

“As soon as we were made aware of this, we arranged a meeting with Mrs Briggs and moved her tree back to its rightful place. We apologise for any distress caused to her.”

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