Fife fire cuts: MSP sets up meeting with Minister to try to save appliances

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Contentious cuts to fire stations across Fife could be taken to a meeting with a Scottish Government Minister.

David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, met with fire chiefs today to discuss the plans which would see the height appliance removed from Kirkcaldy, and the town left with cover from Dunfermline - while second or third appliances would be axed from Dunfermline, Glenrothes and Leven.

The moves, described as temporary, are due to take effect from September 4, but have run into a wall of opposition from politicians, including Mr Torrance who said he “definitely disagreed” with the cuts.

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The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service has to find savings of £11m from its flat cash settlement from the Scottish Government. Last week, senior officers faced councillors who have sent the matter to Fife Council’s cabinet with a clear “cancel the cuts” message.

Pic: John DevlinPic: John Devlin
Pic: John Devlin

On Monday Mr Torrance met with Stewart Nicholson, deputy chief officer, to hear about the reasoning behind the proposed cuts at Kirkcaldy and Methil fire stations. He described the meeting a “positive” and added: “I will be arranging a meeting with the Scottish Government’s Minister for Victims and Community Safety to discuss if there is any additional funding available to relieve the pressures on the service, and to save these appliances from being taken away. I will be maintaining an ongoing dialogue with deputy chief officer Nicholson to address the concerns of my constituency and to ensure the high standards we expect of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are maintained.”

Last week over 50 firefighters from stations across Fife demonstrated outside Fife House in Glenrothes.