Plans to close the Tranent Police Station public counter and remove police traffic wardens across East Lothian have been attacked as yet more bad news for the county.
The national review follows studies showing that fewer members of the public now attend police stations.
Local Labour MSP Iain Gray said: “The proposal to close the public counter service and withdraw all of the country’s traffic warden services is yet more bad news for East Lothian.
“After scrapping our courts, riding roughshod over local decision-making, delaying the county’s new community hospital and closing the fire service college in Gullane, the SNP now want to reduce the accessibility of local policing in Tranent and others parts of the county.”
He claimed: “This is fast becoming an all out attack on our public services. I will consult with the council and communities affected by these proposals and make strong representations on local concerns to the SNP Scottish Government and Police Scotland.”
Councillor Kenny McLeod, SNP member for Fa’side which covers Tranent, commented: “Having now seen the proposals for the town I do not believe that it is the right decision to end public access to the local station.
“In my view Tranent needs as station that is open to the public given the growing population as well as the community reassurance it provides.
“We have already sought clarification from Police Scotland on exactly what alternative provision they believe is available to local residents and we will make clear our opposition to this proposal as well as the potential removal of police traffic wardens which will do nothing to enhance traffic law enforcement and public safety.
“We cannot support the removal of police traffic wardens in East Lothian and this must be looked at again as a matter of urgency.”
Councillor Stuart Currie, SNP group leader, added: “Our view is that the proposal on Tranent is simply not the right way forward for local accessibility to police services. What this has highlighted is the utter local of local public scrutiny available to elected members in East Lothian.
“In February this year I warned the Labour/Conservative administration not to abolish the shadow police and fire board in East Lothian but they just carried on regardless.
“In our view having this local focus to scrutinise proposals such as these announced should have been a priority in our county.
“Whilst the decisions are ultimately made elsewhere, we believe that the Labour/Conservative decision not to have a specific police and fire board has effectively robbed both councillors and the public we serve of the opportunity to challenge proposals that we do not think are right for East Lothian.”
For full story see this week’s East Lothian News. Send us your comments on the plans - do you want to see the police stations open for business and what do you think of withdrawal of traffic wardens?
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