Published: Monday, 22nd January 2018
A permanent memorial to Lee Rigby was installed after consultation with his family.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich installed a permanent local memorial to Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2015 in accordance with the wishes of his family and the families of other soldiers and civilians who had died as a result of conflict.
That memorial is at St George's Garrison Church in Woolwich, which is opposite Woolwich Barracks where Lee was stationed. This is a serene location where people can pay their respects to Lee and other fallen soldiers in line with the wishes of his family.
Lee is also honoured at the National Arboretum at Staffordshire and in his home town at the Middleton Memorial Gardens in Greater Manchester. The Council has also funded an online remembrance book so that people from across the world can pay their respects to Lee.
The Council understand the sentiments of people who wish to pay their respects at the site of Lee's shocking murder. However, the flags and other memorabilia that had been tied to the railings near the site had grown to cover an area of more than 100 yards. Many of the flags were for football teams and causes that have no connection with Fusilier Rigby and had been torn in the wind.
The site was not only extremely unsightly but upsetting for local residents and children from the neighbouring primary school who had to see the artefacts every day and be reminded of that shocking murder, many of whom were individually traumatised by the violent act that took place outside their homes and school.
The site was also not befitting of a dignified memorial to Fusilier Rigby - his family have previously recognised the Garrison Church as the official local memorial.
The Council consulted residents, the school and Lee's family before taking any action. While we appreciate the strong sentiments that the issue gives rise to, our primary consideration has to be to the views of local people and Lee's family.
All the items that have been removed are being stored carefully for the family to collect if they wish.