Fears for future of jobs at Leuchars

MP Stephen Gethins outside Leuchars Station
MP Stephen Gethins outside Leuchars Station

Assurances are being sought over the future of 25 firefighters based at Leuchars Station, after the MOD announced the privatisation of the service.

Last week, the MOD announced that it had awarded the £525 million Defence Fire and Rescue Project contract to Capita Business Services Ltd.

The MOD argues this will modernise the service and deliver “significant savings”. The service provides 24-hour emergency service cover.

But MP Stephen Gethins has written to Lord Howe, Minister of State for Defence, seeking assurances that the jobs of the 25 firefighters based at Leuchars Station will not be under threat.

“I am very disappointed that following the Carillion debacle where millions of pounds of public money was lost, and the £10 million which it has been ordered to pay Serco, that the MoD has still forged ahead with these plans. It seems intent on pursuing privatisation at any cost,” said Mr Gethins.

“The firefighters at Leuchars are highly experienced, loyal employees who carry out important work ensuring the safety of hardworking service personnel and their families based there.

“I have written to the MoD asking for assurances that jobs and conditions will not be affected and that the level of safety cover provided at Leuchars is not jeopardised. Privatisation is simply cuts by another name; we cannot afford for any cuts to jobs, services or safety levels at Leuchars.”

Mr Gethins is also seeking assurances about the future of the runway at Leuchars.

An MOD spokesperson said: “Following a competitive bidding process, we can confirm Capita has been awarded the contract to manage Defence Fire and Rescue services.

“This project will create a more modern and agile fire and rescue service for defence, while improving safety for firefighters and delivering significant savings.”