A mum has accused Croydon Council of theft after her and her neighbour's belongings were removed from their shared shed by council contractors.

Michelle Williamson and neighbour Kylie Nicholls of Goodenough Way, Coulsdon, discovered items including a £200 child's electric quad bike, patio furniture and a reclining garden chair, had been removed from a shed they were sharing at their block of flats earlier this month.

The council has been unable to tell them where the items have gone.

The pair first noticed their padlock had been cut and changed on October 8, and when they asked a council worker whether their belongings were still inside he opened the shed and they discovered it was empty.

Croydon Council say the shed belongs to a property that is being prepared for re-letting, but Miss Williamson said there has never been an allocation policy for sheds.

She said: "When we moved in nine years ago I contacted the council and said can you tell me how to get a shed. They said they were not allocated and when you find one that is empty and not being used to put a padlock on it an use it.

"That is exactly what we did and now the council are saying they are allocating that shed to number 12. There was no notice or contact and for the last three weeks we have been trying to find out what has happened to our things."

Miss Williamson reported the missing items to the police but was advised this was a civil matter.

She added: "The council say we should claim on our home insurance by why should I claim against my policy? If sheds are allocated per property which shed should I have? Why has one flat been given a particular shed when no-one else has."

A spokesman for Croydon Council said they were sorry Miss Williamson is upset at the loss of her items but the shed belonged to a property being prepare for re-letting.

He said: "When we handed the property over to our contractors to carry out necessary works, the shed was empty. We were unaware the shed was since being used as we had not received any request to use it.

"When our contractors visited the property, they found the shed contained items which they then cleared, as is the norm when re-letting a home.

"We have advised Miss Williamson that she may be able to claim for the cost of the items on her house insurance.

"In the meantime we'll speak to our contractors to try and track the items."