Pensioner, 86, in tears after garden that took 17 years to cultivate destroyed by council | UK | News

An 86-year-old woman who spent 17 years tending to a retirement garden has seen it destroyed by the council, leaving her heartbroken. Gillian Davis was left in tears when South Kesteven District Council sent workers to smash up the garden. She had spent hundreds of pounds and devoted 17 years to the garden, but Robert Reid, the council’s cabinet member for housing and property, claimed some of the plants blocked a fire exit and therefore had to be removed. Ms Davis, a retired land worker, started working on the garden when she moved into the retirement home Emlyn’s Gardens, Stamford, Lincolnshire, in 2006.

She even won an award after decorating the space with plants, ornaments, and furniture.

The grandmother said: “They used a big hammer to smash my shed and plastic container, and started taking all my ornaments.

“I have lost it all.”

Her son, Stephen, was also left livid with the council. He added: “She hasn’t got long left. That’s all she has. She loved that garden.

“She used to do it with her friend until her friend passed away. She’s done it for 17 years. She also won an award for the garden

“What they’ve done now is a joke. I can’t see anyone going out there and using it at the moment.

“It’s the way they smashed it all up, they used a big lump hammer that they smashed the shed up with.

“She was a big gardener but because she’s 86 she can get about much now. She knew it wasn’t just her garden, it was for everyone to use.

“She was saying to me “I’ve had enough of life”. How could they do this to an elderly and disabled woman.

“They are saying it was a fire hazard and they’d fall over the rocks in the garden. But there’s paths here.

“They smashed all her trellis up, her plastic box up. They pulled all her plants up and dumped them.

“The lady next door was saying she wished she’d never moved in now.”

Jillian Murcott, 83, a resident at the retirement home said:: “It is called Emlyn’s Gardens but where are the gardens?

“I was in one house since 1978. I have come here and in one week I have seen more upheaval and destruction.”

Councillor Robert Reid said defended the council’s actions: “Communal spaces are there for all tenants to enjoy but are owned by the council, which ensures they are safe and well-maintained.

“The communal space at Emlyn’s Gardens provides an exit route in the event of a fire and therefore it is vital it is always clear.

“The council met the tenant to explain the situation and they were also notified by letter of the need to clear personal items and remove the shed, but failed to do so.

“Following their removal by the council, some of the items are now in the possession of a family member and others remain at Emlyn’s Gardens awaiting collection.

“Work has now started to restore the garden, providing a safe area that all tenants can use and benefit from.”


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