Dumbarton and the Vale’s food banks are to receive a boost over the festive period.

Councillors last week agreed to waive hall room rental charges for both West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare (WDCF) and Food4Thought (F4T).

They distribute food and essentials to families across the area, and are expecting activity to increase over the fast approaching festive period.

The move comes following a motion tabled by Community Party councillor Jim Bollan.

He asked the council to waive hall/room rental charges for any space used by the charities while handing out food to needy families across the local authority.

Cllr Bollan said: “My understanding is that this will only cost £3,000 or £4,000.”

The motion was combined with an extended motion proposed by council leader Jonathan McColl.

Cllr McColl’s motion asked “[that the] council notes the important work of West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare and Food4Thought, who both provide vital services to our most vulnerable residents and their families in times of desperate need.

“Council agrees that it is a disgrace such services are needed in a modern, developed, democratic nation and we are concerned that many more of our residents will find themselves in dire need as Universal Credit rolls out across West Dunbartonshire over the coming months and years.

“Council notes that the Administration have been working for a number of months on proposals for a pot of funding to help those who will be hardest hit by the roll out of Universal Credit. While we recognise that Citizens Advice have been given the funding available from the UK Government for this purpose, we believe that the council must do what we can for our residents.”

Cllr McColl called on, and received, cross party support for his motion.

WDC will give WDCF the use of Unit 22 at the Leven Valley Enterprise Centre where the full year commercial rate to rent this unit is £16,800.

The council also agreed for officers to work with F4T, particularly over the festive period, and provide free of charge suitable council and leisure trust facilities.

Arrangements will be put in place as soon as possible, with reports available for the budget meeting in spring.