Thousands of leaflets offering tips about keeping homes and cars secure have remained in storage in a Birmingham crime hotspot for over a year after city councillors failed to deliver them.
An investigation was under way last night to find out why 10,000 advice packs - worth at least £20,000 - were dumped in a workshop off the Witton Road and are now lying in a yard.
A council spokeswoman confirmed that the packs, part of the local authority's You Are Your City - Clean And Safe initiative, were ordered by former Aston Labour councillor Tony Kennedy at the beginning of 2004.
But Mr Kennedy was not re-selected by Labour to contest Aston at the 2004 elections. He fought Perry Barr instead and was defeated.
The owner of the workshop, who does not wish to be named, said that former Aston Labour councillors Muhammad Afzal and Mohammed Kazi arranged for the advice packs to be placed in his premises after Mr Kennedy departed.
He said: "I have been requesting them to move them but they haven't bothered so I have put them out in the yard." A spokeswoman for West Midlands Labour Party insisted neither Mr Afzal nor Mr Kazi knew about the packages.
She added: "Tony Kennedy did order the packs but they arrived later than he was led to believe and by that time the delivery system he had arranged was not available."
The packs, containing practical advice on preventing burglaries and vehicle crime, were produced by the council in partnership with the police and fire service.
When it launched the initiative the council promised to give every household in the city a safety pack to "help them avoid becoming victims of crime".
But the local authority could not afford postage costs and relied on councillors to organise delivery through local volunteers.
Ayoub Khan, a Liberal Democrat candidate in the by-election, said: "The discovery of these leaflets will ignite the campaign. It is absolutely disgraceful in Aston of all places, where crime is a huge problem, that these safety packs have lain in storage when they could and should have been posted through people's doors."
The council is arranging to distribute the packs.