A plaque in public gardens in Stevenage has been removed by the local authority after it was targeted by vandals more than once within a matter of days.

The planetary alignment plaque in the centre of Millennium Gardens in Ditchmore Lane was the focal point of the gardens, but on Wednesday it was removed - with concerns from some residents that it had been stolen.

In fact, it was removed by Stevenage Borough Council. A spokesman for the local authority said: “We were made aware of graffiti to the planetary alignment plaque located in the Millennium Gardens. We removed the graffiti, however when we visited the site to check the plaque we found signs that showed someone had made an attempt to remove it.

“We have taken the decision to remove the plaque to prevent it from being stolen. The plan is to firstly restore it, then provide more secure fixings.”