Two young children had their toys taken away by council staff who kept them for more than a week.

A complaint from a disgruntled neighbour led the council to remove several items from outside flats in Torrington Road, South Woodford, including toys belonging to two young children.

Ellie Chalkley, six, and Alfie Chalkley, three, were deprived of their bikes, a scooter, a sandpit and a football among other things, during a week of sunny summer holidays.

Mum Davinia Chalkley, 33, of Torrington Road, said she has permission from a senior housing officer at Redbridge Council to keep the toys at the front of her property, while she waits for a shed to arrive where they would be stored permanently.

However despite this, another housing officer ordered the removal of the items on August 4.

Miss Chalkley said: “I’ve been trying to keep them entertained outside but there’s not much we could do.

“You want your kids outside playing and keeping healthy so it’s been really difficult.”

Miss Chalkley at first thought she would have to pay the council £60 to return her children’s toys but they have since promised to return them free of charge later today.

A spokesman from Redbridge Council said: "We have had complaints about children’s toys and other goods being left in the communal areas at Torrington Road and have had several discussions with Ms Chalkley about these.

"Following advice from the Fire Brigade we have complied with regulations to ensure the safety of residents by making sure front and rear communal areas are kept clear.

"The items have been returned to Ms Chalkley, at no cost and have been placed in the new shed at the rear of the block.

"A letter will be sent to Ms Chalkley to apologise for the upset and to reiterate why the goods were removed."