Scottish Liberal Democrat by-election candidate Susan Leslie said a plan for a raft of emergency service closures in Fife show that the SNP have the wrong priorities for Dunfermline.
Plans announced by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service could see 6 police stations in Fife close to the public, Thornton fire control centre close and a widespread reduction in Police front desk opening hours.
Ms Leslie hit out after revelations that people in Dunfermline will not be consulted on plans to close Thornton fire control centre, and that residents have only been asked to e-mail in with their concerns about police front desks closing their doors to the public.
Ms Leslie has called on all the Dunfermline by-election candidates to back Liberal Democrat calls for a full public consultation on the potential frontline service closures.
Commenting, Ms Leslie said:
“The SNP government has the wrong priorities for people in Dunfermline. In the past two weeks alone we have learnt that 6 police front desks will close to the public. Many more will dramatically reduce their opening hours. The fire control room at Thornton is also set to close.
“These closures are not an accident. They are as a direct result of the SNP’s emergency service reforms. SNP centralisation has led to the asset-stripping of local services. I know that there is real anger in Dunfermline that people will not get the chance to have a proper say before the changes are pushed through.
“People in Dunfermline know how important it is to have local knowledge in our emergency services. You cannot price on the value that it has in emergency call centres or police front desks, where people often need to make life and death decisions.
“I was astonished to learn that Police Scotland have only asked people to raise their concerns through e-mail. This approach seems half-hearted at best. Not only will it severely limit the chances of those people who have real concerns getting in touch, others who do not have internet access or IT skills will be locked out of the process.
“Both Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service must open a full public consultation into these closures. People in Fife deserve no less. I hope that all those standing in this by-election will join me in opposing these short-sighted plans.”
By Election candidate Susan Leslie has called on local residents in Saline and Kingseat to back Willie Rennie MSP’s call for an independent inquiry into the collapse of mines at Blair House and St. Ninian’s, and other open cast mines across Scotland.
Willie Rennie MSP has begun a letter campaign to over 2000 local residents in areas affected by mine closures seeking their support for his calls for an inquiry. Friends of the Earth, RSPB and other organisations are backing Mr Rennie’s call for a full investigation into the failings on restoration costs which came to light after the collapse of Scottish Coal.
Mr Rennie raised this issue directly with First Minister Alex Salmond at Holyrood last month. The First Minister rejected calls for an independent inquiry.
Commenting, Susan Leslie said:
“These failed coal companies have ripped up our environment and left others to pick up the costs of putting it right. We need an independent inquiry to establish what went wrong but the SNP government has so far blocked the plan. With the support of the residents directly affected by the collapse of the mines we hope to be able to persuade the Scottish Government to change its mind.
“We are left with the consequences of their reckless actions. We have been repeatedly assured that the mistakes of past mine failures had been learned. It now seems that the opposite is true.
“When permission was given for open cast coal mining in Fife, local people were told that the mining companies would be made to pay to clear up their mess and for restoration. We all know that hasn’t happened and Fife council has had to work hard to make the current insurance bonds pay out.
“Towering bings, polluted water and plumes of dust are what residents now have to endure. I am astounded that the Scottish Government do not want to establish the truth behind these failures. What do they have to hide?”
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have today announced that Fifer Susan Leslie has been selected as their candidate for the Dunfermline parliamentary by-election.
The selection was formally announced by Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP in his speech to Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow.
Susan Leslie is a university lecturer who was elected as a councillor in 2007.
Speaking after the announcement, Councillor Susan Leslie said:
Willie Rennie and Jim Tolson got things done for local people and stood up for the area. That’s what Dunfermline will get if they elect me as the new MSP for the area.
We need action on the Victoria and Queen Margaret Hospitals, action to create more jobs, improved childcare and a reversal of the cuts to the college.
The SNP have let the area down. It’s time to return to the kind of action and service provided by Jim and Willie.
I will work with Willie in Parliament to make sure Dunfermline and west Fife gets the service it deserves.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said:
Susan’s record and commitment to Fife is impressive. We’re going to work hard for every vote and remind people how powerful a force Lib Dems are for their community.
I’ve campaigned for Susan in her Council ward and I know how hard she works and how well she is liked. She will be a fantastic candidate.
The by-election, to be held on 24 October, was caused by the resignation of Bill Walker who bowed to public pressure 16 days after his conviction for 23 violent offences against 4 women.
Source: http://www.libdemvoice.org/susan-leslie-selected-for-dunfermline-by-election-36281.html (Caron Lindsay)
After the sad news of the death of Cllr. Mike Rumney, a by-election is taking place for his vacant seat in the Dunfermline South Ward on October 24th.
Dunfermline Liberal Democrats are pleased to announce that Robin Munro, who lives locally in Abbeyview, will be standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the ward.
Robin has said that “I am honoured to have been chosen as the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for the Dunfermline South Council By-Election. It is my aim to work with the community to provide more and better opportunities and facilities, and I would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in our campaign for election.”
Sitting councillor for Dunfermline South Tony Martin has welcomed the announcement: “Robin is a candidate who lives locally and understands local people’s concerns. I know he is committed to serving the people of Dunfermline South and will be a hardworking Councillor.”
Bill Walker, who was elected in 2011 as MSP for Dunfermline for the SNP, has resigned after being convicted for domestic abuse over the past few decades.
Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, had led calls in Parliament for Bill Walker to resign and had introduced a motion calling for him to resign.
A by-election shall be taking place on the 24th October.
Councillor Joe Rosiejak has welcomed the continuing development of the city chambers on the High Street, which has been recently re-opened.
Joe commented “It’s great to see the City Chambers finally being used. Once the scaffolding comes down, it will look fantastic. Gargoyles that used to be on Dunfermline Palace that are hundreds of years old have been discovered.
“I would like to see continued development of the town centre, and would like to see the open space being used for civic reasons. Staff are doing a great job in cleaning up Dunfermline, and if you see scaffolding and roadworks going, something is being fixed.”
The Liberal Democrats in Government are working to build a stronger economy and fairer society. That’s why we’re cutting Income Tax Bills for millions of ordinary people.
Most taxpayers will be paying £600 less each year from April. With the Liberal Democrats in Government we are putting money back in the pockets of hard working ordinary people, offering a little help in tough times.
Official that the Lib Dems in Government are making the Income Tax system fairer by making those earning over £2 million pay 30% more tax and those earning £15,000 paying 30% less.
Now we are pleased to say yhat we are fulfilling our election promise to increase the personal allowance of tax to £10,000 and this is being done a year ahead of schedule. This has meant 2.7 million of the lowest paid workers not having to pay income tax at all, with the average family having their tax cut by a third.