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Concerns remain over future of fire stations

Scotland’s justice secretary can not confirm that fire stations in Orkney will be safeguarded under recently announced plans to reform Scotland’s fire and rescue services.

The justice secretary was responding to a letter from Orkney MSP Liam McArthur.

Mr McArthur said: “In light of concerns in Orkney about the implications of fire service reform on retained and volunteer fire stations, I wrote to the justice secretary seeking a commitment that his centralisation plans would not result in closures of stations in the islands.  While he was happy to make vague promises about protecting and enhancing services, he declined to offer any commitment on the stations in Orkney.

“As with questions over the details of his equally misguided Police Service Reform, the minister dodges the specifics by classing them as ‘operational responsibilities’ to be dealt with by others.  This will do little to allay fears in Orkney.”