MEMORIALS left on the side of Southend roads in tribute to loved ones who have lost their lives will only remain in place for eight weeks, a report has revealed.

The new report, set to go before the cabinet of Southend Council, sheds light on how long grieving families can leave temporary memorials in place before they are removed.

Bosses say that memorials left in place for some time can often become tatty, generally due to weathering, which can be considered distasteful or otherwise disrespecting the memory of those lost.

The council will now leave a temporary roadside memorial in place for eight weeks following the date of installation.

It is hoped this will strike a balance between those personally affected during a difficult time, as well as the transition to a return to normality - something the community may seek rather than face a long-standing reminder of a tragedy.

But St Laurence resident Kimberley O’Connell has questioned whether the period is long enough for those personally affected by such trauma.

The 45-year-old said: “I lost my mum in Morrison’s in Eastwood when she was 64, she had a heart attack in there.

“I know this isn’t exactly on the road, but if we’d have put a memorial there for her, I’d have been really upset if it was moved.

“I think as long as it’s not causing any obstruction to the highways and flowers are removed when they’re looking a bit tired, I can’t see there being an issue. I don’t know if eight weeks is really long enough - I’ve never got over my mum’s death, it’s been nearly nine years.

“But if you think about when is the right time, it’s like how long is a piece of string.”

Mark Flewitt, deputy Southend Mayor, believes “sensitivity is critical”.

He said: “Anything to do with marking a death, no matter how it’s happened, is of course sensitive, especially when it’s our own loved ones.

“Whereas some might say ‘these flowers are dying, it’s been weeks can’t we move them’. It can be seen as a reminder, but it is really difficult.”

Any tributes will be kept by the council for up to two months, giving families the chance to get them.