CHRISTMAS in Tattenhall will be minus one red-breasted robin after vandals ripped the front off a bird-shaped talking bin.
Pupils at Tattenhall Park School now face the prospect of having the chatty bin removed from their grounds.
Since its installation, the bin has suffered a series of attacks, but this latest act has forced parish councillors to reconsider its location.
The bin, which was installed in May, was placed near the school as a novel way to encouraging children to Keep Britain Tidy - having been installed with a voice-box which is triggered when rubbish is placed in its beak.
Cllr Doug Haynes has confirmed the council is considering moving the bin to a more central location where it can be monitored. He suggested there was a possibility the council had been caught up in a cat-and-mouse game where the vandals were attempting to outfox the council's every move.
He said: 'This is not a laughing matter and is quite an expense to the community. There's no way in which we should continue spending ratepayers' money to continue to repair it when quite obviously there's an element that are content to destroy it.
'It seems to me that if we are going to repair it again, it should not stay where it is, maybe place it somewhere more visible in the centre of the village.'
The chatterbox - which used phrases such as 'yummy, yummy put more rubbish in my tummy' and 'mmmmmm' - was muted shortly after installation in May when thieves stole its voice-box.
And, just 24 hours after parish councillors had it repaired, the mechanism was stolen again. A third voice-box will be installed once councillors can think of a way of stopping the thieves.
Now vandals have struck at the bird's appearance and have managed to tear off the bin's thick plastic red breast, which is actually a door to get the rubbish out.
Pupils are unhappy at the prospect of losing the bin.
Headteacher Mark Mullin said: 'It's disappointing this has happened and the children are sad that vandals damaged the bin in this way.
'The children have gained a great deal of fun and enjoyment from the novelty bin. We do hope it can stay where it is.'