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Fire Reform Will Protect Front-Line Services Says Grampian Vice-Convenor

>> Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Vice-Convener of Grampian Fire & Rescue Joint Board Cllr Stephen Smith has responded to comments by Tory councillor Douglas Ross stating that the aim of police and fire reform is to do exactly what Councillor Ross is demanding – protect rural and front-line services by removing duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy.

Commenting, Cllr Smith said:

“Councillor Ross was pictured in front of Fochabers Fire Station demanding assurances on its future under the new arrangements. He seems to have missed the point entirely that reform of the fire service is intended to do just that: protect frontline services from the cuts by eliminating duplication across the current eight fire and rescues services across Scotland.

“As a result of the cuts imposed by the Tory Government in London, there’s less money around and if we are to make the public pound go further and give the taxpayer value for money, we cannot justify having eight fire services with eight payroll departments, eight procurement departments and the whole bureaucracy which comes with that.

“Grampian’s fire stations are strategically located and are situated where they are for good reasons. I’m proud of the service our community firefighters provide across Grampian and that will continue under the new Scottish Fire & Rescue Service from April because of the dedication and commitment of the people who are on the front line keeping our communities safe.”

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