MSP wants assurances on retained fire stations

ASSURANCES are being sought that the Scottish Government will safeguard retained fire crews, including those at Arbroath, Carnoustie and Balmossie, in its reorganisation of the fire and rescue service.

Across Scotland 321 fire stations are staffed by 3,429 retained fire-fighters and north east Conservative MSP Nanette Milne this week said their strategic community importance should be protected in the formation of a single service.

She has written to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to raise the issue.

She said: “In recent weeks, Scottish Conservatives have raised a number of concerns with ministers regarding the future of rural police stations as well as the strategic role of Scotland’s mountain rescue teams prior to the establishment of single police and fire services.

“SNP ministers have responded, simply stating that is an operational matter for individual forces – not providing clear assurances over the future of Scotland’s retained fire stations.

“Several rural police stations have already been closed and sold off. With the SNP Government pressing ahead with new single police and fire service structures, SNP Ministers must provide adequate assurances that the new structures will retain the current retained fire stations.”

As well as Arbroath, Carnoustie and Balmossie, Tayside Fire and Rescue operates retained fire stations in Angus at Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir.