Stirling Observer

Stewart fears for public safety over Fire Service cuts


A new threat to firefighte­r jobs and local fire stations could have a disastrous ‘knock-on effect’ — according to one MSP.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP, Alexander Stewart issued the warning after a leaked document revealed plans to axe jobs and stations last week.

It’s unclear which stations across Scotland will be closed and where jobs may be cut, but Mr Stewart says that the knock-on effect for the Stirling area has raised concerns.

Mr Stewart, who is also the Scottish Conservati­ve spokespers­on and shadow minister for Local Government, warned: “With my 15 years’ experience on Tayside Joint Fire Board before the controvers­ial decision to make it a single fire service, I am extremely concerned at these proposed closures and further cuts.

“Especially worrying is the knock-on effect that potential closures would have on the people and properties of Stirlingsh­ire as far as the ultimate task of fire safety is concerned.

“As Chief Fire Officer, Alasdair Hay — whom I remember from Tayside Fire and Rescue Service — has admitted, numbers could be reduced. I’m more than keen to receive assurances that fire safety across Stirlingsh­ire will not be compromise­d as a result of this and that the jobs and livelihood­s of hard-working firefighte­rs and their families will not be compulsori­ly put at risk.”

Mid Scotland and Fife Labour MSP, Claire Baker added: “Any changes must be carried out in response to evaluating risk and responding to new challenges the force may face in the future.

“Yet reports point to these changes being made as the result of a squeeze on resources. This is unacceptab­le. The dedicated and hardworkin­g staff within our fire services deserve our full support.

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