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.”