THE top secret location of Cirencester’s illusive Christmas market chalets does not seem to be so secretive after all.

Following a story last week, the Standard has been inundated with letters and calls from people keen to point out that the chalets, which were said to be kept in a safe location, have been left to fester in the heavy rain on land in the City Bank area of Cirencester.

Officials at Cirencester Town Council, including its chief executive and the mayor, said that the location of the wooden structures was being kept secret to keep thieves away.

Mike Simmonds contacted the Standard to say that he had come across the disassembled chalets while out walking his dog.

“They have just been left there, out in the open. There is only a small gate between us and them, anyone could easily go in and steal them,” he said.

Mr Simmonds also criticised the town council for letting “£30,000 of taxpayer’s money rot outside in the rain”.

It also appears that the chalets went on a mysterious holiday last December, having been picked up by an articulated lorry and then returned roughly two weeks later.

This prompted rumours that they were being used as the main attraction in Swindon’s Christmas market.

Andrew Tubb, chief executive of CTC, played down the rumours but remain tight-lipped as to where they went.

He said: “The chalets were recently relocated to City Bank as we look into cost neutral storage options. In the interim, we will be arranging suitable covers to minimise the risk of damage.”

The chalets, which were purchased for around £30,000 in 2010, have been a major talking point among residents in recent years after they were pulled from Cirencester‘s Christmas programme after just two years of use.