A LOVING granddaughter is urging council bosses to replace her grandad’s memorial tree, which was knocked down by a careless driver five months ago.

Amanda Cappleman’s grandad, Les Bridges, has been buried at the Firs Road cemetery in West Mersea for the past 12 years.

Since he died in 2005 there has never been any trouble, but in October a driver accidentally hit her grandad’s memorial tree while at a funeral and knocked it down.

Miss Cappleman called West Mersea Town Council members, who promised they would fix the tree by Christmas, and the driver owned up to the accident.

But to her dismay the tree has still not been replaced.

To make matters worse, Amanda and her son Alex, three, witnessed more vandalism while visiting the cemetery on Mother’s Day.

She said: “My grandad’s plaque has also been smashed.

“It was just heartbreaking as we had been to visit the graves on Mother’s Day.

Gazette: Damaged - the smashed memorial plaque at the cemetery

“While we were there a driver decided he was going to drive over the memorial where the tree is and park on the grass.

“When we confronted him he just said he always parked there.”

She said the family has complained to the council about replacing the tree a number of times but nothing has been done.

She said it was not fair on her family, many of whom were heavily involved with the community on the island.

Miss Cappleman added: “I don’t like taking my children down there to find more damage has been done.

“We had faith in the council that they would fix the tree.”

Many of her family members are buried at the same cemetery, and she often visits with her parents and son to bring flowers for them.

She added: “On Sunday we were laying flowers at my grandad’s tree and we were just going to get in the car to visit the other graves.

“This was when the driver rolled up and drove over the memorial.

“It’s shocking, but what gets us more is that the council promised the tree would be replaced.

“It’s really heartbreaking.”

Mayor, Carl Powling, said the council was aware of the fallen tree and understood the frustration.

He added there was only a small selection of trees which can be used on site and there had been a problem finding a supplier.

He added: “I can understand the frustration as it has taken some time.”

Regarding the issue with drivers parking their cars at the memorial area, Mr Powling said the memorial ground was always intended to be a general parking zone.