THE whereabouts of Cirencester’s infamous Christmas market chalets is a closely guarded secret, according to the town’s mayor.

Cllr Joe Harris told the Standard that members of the council are “not allowed to say where they are as there might be issues with them being stolen.”

This view was backed up by Cllr Roly Hughes, town councillor for Chesterton, who said: “I’m not able to divulge information on the Christmas chalets as it is confidential.”

The chalets have been a major talking point among residents in recent years after they were pulled from Cirencester’s Christmas programme after just two years in service.

A number of people contacted the Standard to question whether the town got its money’s worth out of the wooden chalets.

Graham Jeffs, of Alexander Drive, said: “From memory they cost us around £30,000 and two years, or so, usage does not seem like an adequate enough payback period to me.

“It strikes me that the whole process was not thought out fully from day one. The chalets appeared as part of an attempt to put Cirencester on the map regarding it being a destination for Christmas cheer. In principle, not a bad idea at all.”

Speaking in May 2010, when the chalets were first purchased, Andrew Tubb, chief executive of Cirencester Town Council, said that the 50 chalets would provide the town with substantial profits every year that they are used.

However, despite not being used as an attraction last Christmas, the chalets could be given a second lease of life.

Cllr Harris said: “Hopefully there will be a use for them again. We want to bring them out to be used at the Phoenix Festival.

“Obviously the Christmas markets are on hold at the moment but we hope that they will be used again.”

Mr Tubb also explained that there was a chance the chalets could be hired out for private use.

He said: “Should anyone wish to hire the chalets then this is a possibility. In terms of the hire fee, we would consider each request on a case by case basis.”