ONE of 22 flower trays installed around the Sudell area of Darwen, with the help of local schoolchildren, was stolen last weekend.

Coun Roy Davies, who secured £1,200 to put up the trays to brighten up the ward, was dismayed when he saw a man walking down the street carrying one of them.

The trays, given to householders between Marsh Terrace and Tythebarn Street who wanted one, were funded by grants from Twin Valley Homes and the neighbourhood board.

Coun Davies said: “I was driving back from Blackburn at 4.20pm on Saturday when I went past a man carrying a flower tray at the bottom of Winterton Road. I thought it looked suspiciously like one of the ones I put up in the ward.

“I turned the car round and found one was missing from the Industry Street area.”

Coun Davies said the man, who was was 5’4” tall, with a white beard and wearing waterproofs, had dumped all the soil out and just taken the tray.

Coun Davies said: “I know it’s not the crime of the century, but they cost £1,200 all together, and we had kids from Sudell Primary School planting them.

“Some of them look really nice. For someone to come along and say, ‘Oh, I’m having that’, is just ridiculous.

“They are taking something away from the people of Sudell ward.”

Coun Davies has contacted police.

Town council mayor and Sudell councillor Eileen Entwistle said: “Nothing is sacred any more. It is horrible. I don’t know how you stop it. At one time you could leave your doors open and leave stuff outside, but not any more.”