McInnes challenges on retained fire services

Aberdeenshire Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes has challenged the Minister for Community Safety, Roseanna Cunningham, over the future of Scotland’s retained fire stations in the wake of the Scottish Government’s controversial Police and Fire Reform Bill.

Speaking after pressing the Minister on the matter during Question Time in Parliament last Thursday, Mrs McInnes said: “I asked the Minister for a simple assurance that, if the proposed reforms go ahead, our vital retained fire stations will be maintained. Sadly, the only response I received was a vague comment that logistics change over time.

“Retained fire stations, and the firefighters that staff them, play a hugely important role across much of Rural Scotland, including here in Aberdeenshire. Grampian Fire and Rescue have 33 part-time fire stations, compared with just three that are staffed 24 hours a day. To lose any of those retained stations would be a huge blow to the responsiveness of our local fire service. The Government seem intent on moving ahead with this poorly supported bill and taking control of fire and rescue services out of the hands of local people.”