Harrison's widow needs 'kicking into gear' over memorial - mayor

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The Independent Culture

George Harrison's widow has accused some of her local councillors in Henley-on-Thames of behaviour "bordering on the offensive" over the siting of a memorial to the former Beatle.

George Harrison's widow has accused some of her local councillors in Henley-on-Thames of behaviour "bordering on the offensive" over the siting of a memorial to the former Beatle.

Three years after Harrison's death, neither Henley nor Liverpool has managed to gain Olivia Harrison's approval for a memorial.

The couple lived in Fiar Park, a mansion in its own estate overlooking Henley in Oxfordshire. The council first suggested the project 18 months ago, but Mrs Harrison vetoed plans for a memorial near Fiar Park, fearing her home would be overrun by Beatles fans. Alternative sites were discussed and a flower bed under a bridge over the Thames has been planted in his honour.

But Mrs Harrison was enraged after a council meeting on 27 April, when Henley's Mayor, Chris Pye, said she needed "kicking into gear". She wrote in reply: "This makes me wonder whether it might be best to abandon the proposal altogether." She denied accusations that she had been "fobbing off" the council, saying she had had "two intense years of family matters to attend to". She said: "I am very aware that the impact of a hasty decision could have long-term implications for the family and the town."

Some councillors believe Harrison's profile in the town was too low to justify spending public funds on a memorial. "No disrespect, but I do not think he acknowledged this town openly," said one councillor, Barry Wood.

Liverpool has also encountered delays. Harrison supported the refurbishment of the Sefton Park glass Palm House, which is seen as an obvious site for a memorial. But Liverpool council said it was waiting for a decision from Mrs Harrison.

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