“DESPICABLE” thieves have put future projects by Solihull Council’s environmental champions at risk after they ransacked a store holding their equipment.
It is believed the Cornyx Lane premises was broken into last Friday (June 15) and then again on Monday of this week.
Thieves made off with two petrol rotary mowers, three cordless hedge cutters, two cordless strimmers and ten pairs of waders.
Environment Secretary and local MP Caroline Spelman condemned the theft and praised the environmental champions for making the borough a ‘better place to live’ since the initiative was introduced in 2007.
“I was so sad to hear about this theft,” she added. “What a huge shame that volunteers have been treated in this way. I have helped out with groups of environmental champions in the past, most recently in Castle Bromwich, and I know what a great job they do in dealing with litter, fly-tipping and graffiti.”
Councillor Kate Wild, cabinet member for community services, said: “This is an utterly despicable act which has put at risk all the hard work and co-operation which has made the environmental champions such a popular and respected initiative.
“I implore residents to not let the disgusting acts of a few ruin the activities of the majority- our dedicated volunteers.”
Hundreds of volunteers have been trained and equipped to help fight environmental crime within the borough as part of the environmental champions, using equipment donated by businesses, the council and individuals.
Solihull Council are now appealing for anyone who can lend or donate equipment for the champions to use this summer to call 0121 704 6534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone with information regarding the theft of the equipment should contact West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000.