MSP seeks answers to uncertainty over the fate of fire stations
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.”