COMMUNITY councils across Dumbarton and the Vale can now purchase wreaths for Remembrance Sunday using funding from West Dunbartonshire Council.

The decision comes after one community council was refused permission to buy a wreath this year as rules, which have been in place for decades, prohibited it.

Former guidelines implied that buying a wreath was not seen as “fulfilling the objective” of the community council.

But new regulations which came into place in 2016 say that these organisations can buy a wreath provided it is “in the interest of the community and fosters community spirit”.

A motion was brought before full council last week by council leader Jonathon McColl. He explained: “The chairman of a community council came to me at my surgery to say that had been refused permission to purchase a wreath this year.

“That decision was based on old national guidance. We need to decide locally on what we allow because at the moment finance officers will not pay out a grant because of the way the guidelines are.

“We would be telling our staff they can pay out to community councils so they can purchase wreaths.”Labour councillors questioned previous decisions to deny community councils the opportunity to buy wreaths.

Labour councillor Lawrence O’Neill said: “I am happy to agree but in terms of the first line of the motion there is nothing within any local rules which specifically prohibit the purchasing of wreaths.

“Community councils are operating under a reviewed scheme in 2015 which came into place in 2016. I’m happy to support the ethos behind the motion.”

Peter Hessett, the council’s legal officer, said: “We need to follow the guidance issued to us. Council can take a decision to allow the purchasing of wreaths and that was the advice that came from one our solicitors.”

Individuals who have purchased a wreath on behalf of their community council will be reimbursed. A future report will also be brought before the next corporate services committee to amend any other local rules which do not reflect the new guidelines.