Saturday 14 February 2009

Parkhead closure goes ahead

I've taken some time to get over my anger that Parkhead Fire Station is set to close. I, and other SNP colleagues on the Fire Board, asked the questions that needed asked around safety and service provision. We criticised the public consultation, which had received suspiciously low responses from the public. We queried why those comments which were against the proposals got played down in the response to the consultation. Buried at the back, these included:

"I trust that you will not claim in your ‘full consultation report’ that this event and your ‘business plan’ has in any way the support of this community council - since the event was clearly designed to exclude any meaningful participation by working people in general and by this Community Council in particular."

"The FBU presented a petition with over 2000 signatures asking for the Board of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue to retain Parkhead Fire Station. The petition stated that a slower and less efficient service would be provided and no account was being taken of planned regeneration works. The premise of this petition was therefore misleading."

"Our overall conclusion, then, has to be somewhat guarded:
The Public Meetings did not demonstrate a widespread public opposition to the proposals – because they were poorly attended and because fire service personnel were so influential in articulating concerns that were taken up by others;"

In the end, we still got outvoted 17 - 6.

Credit must go to the FBU, who did so much work to raise awareness in the local community and told the other side story.

I got an assurance from the Chief Officer after the meeting that Parkhead will remain open until the new station is built. This may take around two years.

1 comment:

joe90 kane said...

Hi BB,
I thought you and your blog readership would be interested in the following, although I'm sure you know all about it already -

Early Day Motion
EDM 843
John Mason
UK Parliament
23 Feb 2009

That this House notes with concern the recent decision by the Board of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue to close Parkhead Fire Station in Glasgow; further notes that, in the Glasgow districts of Parkhead, Braidfauld and Tollcross, this will lead to average attendance times increasing from four minutes to around eight minutes; further notes that this area will host the Commonwealth Games in 2014; and urges the Board of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue to reconsider this decision.

all the best!

EDM 840
John Mason
UK Parliament
23 Feb 2009