>> 16 April 2013
SNP councillor for Fraserburgh & District Charles Buchan has hit back at claims in last week’s Fraserburgh Herald by Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes regarding the new Scotland-wide police service.
Councillor Buchan has criticised the MSP, who said the new police service represented the “demise of local policing”, branding her comments as scaremongering.
Commenting, Councillor Buchan said:
“As a local councillor, I now have far more opportunity to input into the local policing priorities and the local fire and rescue service plan than I ever did under the previous system.
“Prior to this month, only six councillors from Aberdeenshire had the opportunity through the Grampian Police Board to influence local priorities. Now, not only do all councillors in Aberdeenshire get the opportunity to feed back to the police at formal sessions the priorities that their constituents and community groups want to see tackled, but the policing plans are developed so there is one for each council ward.
“If anything, policing has become more local as a result of the changes.
“I want to see front-line policing maintained. The SNP Government has introduced 1000 more police officers since 2007, but cuts handed down by the London Government threaten this. Therefore, cutting down eight payroll departments and various other backroom functions across eight police forces into one removes wasteful duplication and saves money which can be used for bobbies on the beat.
“I will continue to work with our local police to make the new arrangements work for the benefit of my constituents.”