Last chance to halt station closures bid

Linlithgow police station.  Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

Linlithgow police station. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

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PEOPLE across Edinburgh and the Lothians were today urged to make a last push in the campaign to save police stations from closing to the public.

Three of the ten stations in the area which were due to lose their front counters as part of a £4.2 million cuts programme have already won a reprieve – South Queensferry, Linlithgow and Tranent.

Mike Crockart hopes more stations can be saved from the axe. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Mike Crockart hopes more stations can be saved from the axe. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

And today politicians vowed to redouble their efforts to save the others from the axe. Police chiefs have said they will accept comments until “mid-December”.

East Lothian Labour MSP Iain Gray said: “Our communities need to have confidence that they can get hold of the police when they need them. That is why the Evening News campaign against public counter closures is such an important one.

“We should celebrate our success in getting Police Scotland to rethink closures in Tranent, Linlithgow and South Queensferry, but we really need a final push in the campaign to get those confirmed and hopefully save more stations, too.”

Police Scotland announced plans on October 1 to close counters at ten stations in Edinburgh and the Lothians currently used by more than 100,000 people every year.

Still under threat are Oxgangs, Balerno, Craigmillar, Corstorphine, Bonnyrigg, Armadale and West Calder.

A further ten would have their opening hours slashed.

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart hailed the decision to keep South Queensferry front counter open.

In an update to constituents, he said: “This is a hugely welcome change and is due in no small part to the campaign launched by the Evening News and the support given to it by many thousands of people like you.”

But he added: “Unfortunately, as yet, Police Scotland are maintaining their plans to close the front counter in Corstorphine and instead have a limited presence at the Drumbrae Hub.”

He urged people to register their views by e-mailing 
publiccounterreview@
Scotland.pnn.police.uk

iswanson@edinburghnews.com