The Oban Times - - NEWS - Ge­orge Berry

SEV­ERAL weeks ago I wrote about the clo­sures of ru­ral po­lice sta­tions in Argyll. Well, since then the sit­u­a­tion has gone from the sub­lime to the ridicu­lous.

Po­lice chiefs are hir­ing highly-paid of­fi­cials to over­see fi­nan­cial cuts that will see hun­dreds of po­lice of­fi­cers in Scot­land axed.

In the past cou­ple of years, af­ter some re­search I did on the cost- cut­ting farce, I dis­cov­ered that former banker David Page was hired to help Chief Con­sta­ble Phil Gorm­ley make cuts.

His salary to take part in this cost- cut­ting ex­er­cise will be £173,000.

This is just one of sev­eral ex­tremely highly-paid posts to be paid by this Scot­tish Govern­ment.

An­other ‘jobs for the boys’ post is – wait for it – an in­terim head of strat­egy and in­no­va­tion. The per­son en­ter­ing this post will be paid up to £ 88,698.

An in­terim di­rec­tor of busi­ness in­te­gra­tion will be on a ‘com­pet­i­tive salary’ for 12 months of £76,641. And all this is about sav­ing money in Po­lice Scot­land.

What a farce. And at what cost? This whole saga in my mind is an out­rage.

It would ap­pear that the old story goes on, while the com­mon five- eighths are left to get on with the job on a day-to- day salary, the fat- cat pro­fes­sion­als are of­fered ob­scene salaries to make life dif­fi­cult for our emer­gency ser­vices.

Where does all this end? Are the po­lice top dogs send­ing a mes­sage to the un­scrupu­lous crim­i­nals of to­day’s world saying: ‘Come on in, there isn’t a po­lice sta­tion in this vil­lage or town. Help your­self. We can’t get po­lice of­fi­cers on the scene for 20 or 30 min­utes.’

You may laugh, but this could be a reality for many small vil­lages and towns in ru­ral Scot­land. What a dis­grace.

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