Res­i­dents use new law to fight cop shop clo­sure

Com­mu­nity Coun­cil want to be part of de­ci­sion

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Cam­bus­lang res­i­dents have asked Police Scot­land for proof that clo­sure of the town’s police sta­tion is not “in­evitable”.

Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil has ques­tioned the le­git­i­macy of the con­sul­ta­tion on the fu­ture of the sta­tion be­cause it only con­sid­ers one op­tion – to close and sell the Taber­na­cle Street build­ing.

And the group has used the Com­mu­nity Em­pow­er­ment Act to ask Police Scot­land to for­mally in­volve them in “any as­sess­ments, dis­cus­sions and de­ci­sions” made on the fu­ture of the sta­tion.

Police Scot­land con­firmed in Novem­ber it was re­view­ing its es­tate, later sug­gest­ing the clo­sure of the Cam­bus­lang sta­tion, with staff to re­lo­cate to Ruther­glen.

David Thom­son, chair­man of the com­mu­nity coun­cil, said he had been in reg­u­lar cor­re­spon­dence with Chief In­spec­tor Geral­dine McSherry, area com­man­der of the La­nark­shire Di­vi­sion.

He said: “We found CI McSherry’s reply to us rather disin­gen­u­ous. In her re­cent let­ter, she is now claim­ing the clo­sure of Cam­bus­lang Police Sta­tion is just a ‘sug­ges­tion’ and one of a ‘num­ber of op­tions’, and more­over that ‘no de­ci­sion has been made’.

“We find this dif­fi­cult to be­lieve given that her orig­i­nal let­ter to us was very spe­cific about only one op­tion, which is clo­sure.”

Mr Thom­son and his col­leagues’ lat­est ef­forts to fight the pro­posal in­clude a re­quest to be­come for­mally in­volved in the de­ci­sion mak­ing process.

They have done this through the Com­mu­nity Em­pow­er­ment Act, de­signed to give peo­ple a stronger voice in de­ci­sions that mat­ter to them.

Mr Thom­son added: “We recog­nise Police Scot­land are un­der fi­nan­cial pres­sure and we are open to dis­cussing al­ter­na­tive op­tions for a phys­i­cal pres­ence in Cam­bus­lang town cen­tre such as an of­fice in one of the va­cant re­tail units on the Main Street. The key is­sue is that the fu­ture of polic­ing in Cam­bus­lang is agreed with the com­mu­nity – not de­cided else­where and then no­ti­fied to the com­mu­nity.”

In­spec­tor James Gille­spie of Ruther­glen Police Sta­tion said: “It is im­por­tant that the build­ings we have con­tinue to meet our needs and the needs of the pub­lic.

“Hav­ing build­ings in La­nark­shire from which we can op­er­ate more ef­fec­tively will en­sure of­fi­cers are avail­able in the right time and right place whilst con­tin­u­ing to de­liver a qual­ity ser­vice to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“Any fu­ture de­ci­sions around our lo­cal es­tate in La­nark­shire will only be made fol­low­ing en­gage­ment with com­mu­ni­ties and part­ners.

“We wel­come in­ter­est in our en­gage­ment process from our part­ners and com­mu­ni­ties as they help to in­form the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.

“We can con­firm we have re­ceived a par­tic­i­pa­tion re­quest un­der the Com­mu­nity Em­pow­er­ment (Scot­land) Act 2015 from Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil

Cam­bus­langCom­mu­nity coun­cil­lors want a say on the fu­ture of the sta­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.