MSP to raise con­cerns over the fu­ture of com­mu­nity sta­tions

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

A north-east MSP is to meet one of Scot­land’s most se­nior fire­fight­ers to dis­cuss con­cerns over the fu­ture of com­mu­nity fire sta­tions.

Lib­eral Demo­crat Mike Rum­ble in­tends to ques­tion deputy chief of­fi­cer of the Scottish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (SFRS), Iain Bushell, early next month.

Mr Rum­bles said he would seek as­sur­ances on the fate of Dundee’s four sta­tions: Ma­calpine Road, Black­ness Road, Kingsway East and Bal­mossie, which serves Broughty Ferry and Moni­fi­eth.

Con­cerns have been raised by lo­cal coun­cil­lors af­ter SFRS area man­ager Colin Grieve ad­mit­ted he “can’t give as­sur­ances” on the fu­ture of Bal­mossie.

Mr Rum­bles said: “I wel­come this op­por­tu­nity to speak to the deputy chief of­fi­cer in per­son.

“He has re­as­sured me that no de­ci­sions have yet been made and that none will be un­til the Scottish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice have con­ducted a full and mean­ing­ful pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

“He has warned me, how­ever, that a new model is be­ing dis­cussed for the city.

“There is al­ways room for im­prove­ment but the fire ser­vice in Dundee has been work­ing well.

“It is dis­turb­ing that fi­nan­cial pres­sure and Scottish Gov­ern­ment cen­tral­i­sa­tion could now force a re­duc­tion of the whole-time ser­vice in the city. I have yet to re­ceive a re­sponse from the min­is­ter on this mat­ter but I have made my con­cerns very clear.”

Broughty Ferry coun­cil­lor Craig Dun­can said: “What mat­ters now is for the Scottish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice and the Scottish Gov­ern­ment to give a full com­mit­ment to lo­cal peo­ple that there will be no re­duc­tion in the ser­vice for Dundee.

“So far, we have had nei­ther re­as­sur­ances nor clar­ity from ei­ther the of­fi­cers or the min­is­ters re­spon­si­ble.

“The sta­tion in my own ward at Bal­mossie has a long his­tory and decades of ser­vice in the com­mu­nity and across the city.

“That this is un­der threat, not for the first time, is to­tally un­ac­cept­able.”

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