MSP seeks an­swers to un­cer­tainty over the fate of fire sta­tions

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee 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 Rum­bles in­tends to ques­tion deputy chief of­fi­cer of the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (SFRS), Iain Bushell, early next month.

Mr Rum­bles said he would ask for 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.”

Re­spond­ing to the claims, Mr Bushell de­scribed Mr Rum­bles’ claims as “un­founded”. He said: “I look for­ward to meet­ing with Mr Rum­bles to ad­dress his un­founded claims re­gard­ing the vi­sion to trans­form the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice.

“Mr Rum­bles also sadly failed to ac­knowl­edge that the na­tional ser­vice, of which he is so crit­i­cal, has en­sured Dundee has ben­e­fited from in­vest­ments in both the new £2.5 mil­lion north op­er­a­tions con­trol and £3.75m as­set re­source cen­tre, this year alone.

“The Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice ex­ists to save lives and our pri­or­ity will con­tinue to be the safety of the peo­ple of Scot­land.”

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