Christmas wreaths have been banned from front doors by a killjoy council slammed as 'Grinches'.
Flat block residents have been told to take down festive decorations hanging from their doors through fear that they are a fire risk.
Residents living in apartments on Whiteford Drive, Kettering, Northants, were left stunned when they received a knock on the door from members of North Northamptonshire Council (NNC).
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It was explained to them that no items are allowed to be placed in communal areas, including hallways, for health and safety reasons.
Flat owner Wayne Linskey, 54, was told his wreath was a fire risk but has vowed to keep it up, accusing the local authority of 'lacking common sense' and being 'grinchy'.
He said: "I have not met anyone who has not just laughed when I told them.
"If they've (the council) not got better things to spend their time on and worry about then there's too many people there.
"They are being a bit grinchy. Where is the common sense in it? There is none really."
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The railway worker added his wreath would only catch fire if someone deliberately set it alight.
He has since complained to the council and has left a piece of paper on his wreath telling staff they should not remove it until the appeal is resolved.
The block of flats includes council-owned and privately-owned properties, with NNC maintaining communal areas.
A note with the NNC logo was left on wreaths where residents were not in when a council worker visited.
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It read: "This area is designated as a sterile environment, to comply with this standard this item must be removed immediately."
Ewelina Piescinska has lived in her flat for eight years – renting off a private landlord – and said she has always had a wreath at Christmas with no issues.
She added: "We were told we must put decorations away because it's a fire hazard.
"I couldn't believe it. It's ridiculous. I told my sister and she laughed."
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Other residents reacted on social media with one commenting: "What a joke! Sounds like any excuse to dictate to their residents to me!"
Another added: "Where's the Christmas spirit in that! A couple of wreaths aren't going to make much of a difference in the event of a fire anyway. Ridiculous decision."
A third put: "Bunch of scrooges the lot of them, should we be taking our Christmas trees down too then?!"
A North Northamptonshire Council spokesman said: “The safety of our tenants is of the utmost importance particularly in relation to fire risk and combustible materials.
“The flats in question contain some internal communal areas for which we have responsibility to make sure that no items are placed or stored there.
"This would include wreaths and any other Christmas decorations in the communal area.”
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