RESIDENTS have been warned not to leave old clothes out for a collection company due to be wound up tomorrow.

W&W Help Ltd has distributed leaflets to homes in Darlington asking for donations of unwanted clothes, which the company claims will be sent to the developing world.

Local borough councillor Cyndi Hughes has discovered that the company is to be dissolved for financial irregularities, and has urged residents not to offer donations.

"The leaflets were circulated at the end of last week in my neighbourhood asking that people put old clothes out for collection to help the needy," she said.

"I have checked the company out on the Companies House website and the company is to be dissolved on (Tuesday) March 24.

"I have contacted Trading Standards and the Companies Investigation Branch. It will be an offence if they actually collect.

"I am sick and tired of these collection companies taking advantage of the good and trusting nature of the residents of Darlington."

The leaflet features a picture of a small child dressed in a monkey costume, under the heading "Clothing colleection (sic)."

The note adds: "Your donations are sent to the Third World countries to help clothe the poor."

W&W Help Ltd has headquarters in North Woolwich, London. The only contact available for the company is a private email address. No-one from the firm was replying to queries by email last night.

Anyone with concerns about collection leaflets is asked to call the Consumer Direct helpline on 0845-404-0506.