Service cut fears

LOCAL Liberal Democrat councillor David May has warned that government plans to centralise emergency services could have serious consequences for Montrose.

He has called for a rethink after Conservative and Labour MSPs backed the decision in the Scottish Parliament last week.

He said: “I agree with the comments by Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes about the so-called police reforms when she said her party was opposed to the change, arguing ‘We have serious concerns over accountability, local control and political independence.’

“Rather than being presented with a golden opportunity to modernise our emergency services, we are being pushed towards a centralised, politicised future that will ultimately be to the detriment of local services across the country.”

Mr May added that he has “real concerns” the plan could lead to cuts in Montrose, as well as the rest of Angus and Tayside, in both support and frontline police staff, the loss of resources from rural areas such as Angus to the cities and decision-making becoming the responsibility of civil servants and politicians in Edinburgh.

He added: “There will be the loss of local accountability as our local boards go.

“In my view the SNP, Tories and Labour should take time to reflect on these issues and I call on all our Montrose as well as Angus councillors to put pressure on their leaders as well as the politicians in Edinburgh to abandon this scheme to centralise our emergency services.”