Anyone who has bought a toy doll with an animal design on the outfit in Hartlepool should return it to the seller. Hartlepool Council are concerned a doll that's been on sale at the town's indoor market could be one from China which has previously been subject to a national product recall.
Trading Standards officers are concerned the dolls may contain a chemical which when consumed has been associated with causing cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men.
"Whilst we do not want to cause unnecessary alarm, we want to make parents aware to ensure that children have no contact with these dolls. Young babies in particular will often chew soft toys and there is a real concern that they could be at risk."
"The remaining stock of dolls has been handed over by the trader and we are waiting on formal analysis before we can confirm if the dolls contain phthalates. An investigation on how the dolls came to be on sale in Hartlepool is ongoing."
"I would encourage anyone who may have purchased one of these dolls as a Christmas present for a child to ensure the child's parent is aware of our concerns. We would also welcome any information about other traders who may be retailing these dolls, unaware of the product recall."
RACHAEL READMAN, HARTLEPOOL COUNCIL TRADING STANDARDS
Stuart Drummond, the Hartlepool mayor who shot to fame in 2002 after winning the position as an independent candidate, will be replaced by a committee system next year after the people of Hartlepool voted to abolish the mayoral post.
Mr Drummond has been Mayor of Hartlepool for three successive terms, but his position was threatened after Labour councillors in the town demanded a referendum on how its council was run.
On Thursday Hartlepool's voters decided that they would like to return to the committee system and abolish the post.
In a referendum, 7,366 voters said that they wanted the town to be run by a committee, while only 5,177 said they wanted the local authority to be overseen by a mayor and cabinet.
The voter turnout for Hartlepool was eighteen percent.
Mr Drummond, the former Hartlepool Football Club mascot, will continue in the post until the next local elections in May 2013.
A Referendum is taking place in Hartlepool to determine how the council is run in the future.
It follows a meeting in August of this year when councillors voted unanimously in favour of a Referendum.
The Referendum will give people from Hartlepool a chance to decide whether their council is run by a mayor elected by voters, as it currently is, or whether the council is run by one or more committees made up of elected councillors.
Any changes to the current system will not be implemented until May 2013.