LOCAL council officials have come to the rescue of an east community targeted by thieves.

Two weeks ago, Charltons village had its Welcome to Charltons sign stolen, along with an ornate bench painted by residents and some plants on show for the Northumbria in Bloom competition.

Luckily, the village had been judged last month and was named runner-up in the small village category.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has now donated a solid oak bench to the village.

The authority's cabinet member for environmental improvement, Councillor Bob Stanway, said: "It must have been devastating for the members of the community, who work so hard to make the village look pretty.

"This is the least that we can do to repay these individuals in allowing their good work to continue for years to come in improving the village both aesthetically and environmentally."