Monthly Archives: October 2013

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?”