Ready for Reform

Local arrangements for police and fire and rescue are making excellent progress ahead of new single services going live on April 1st – an event to share good practice heard today. Almost 200 people from across Scotland attended the Local Scrutiny and Engagement event in Edinburgh.
At the event, it was announced that there will be more local accountability in the new service – on Day 1 there will be interim local policing plans and local fire plans for all 32 local authority areas and these will be informed by 353 ward-level community policing plans and 370 local community fire station plans.
Also, local officers are in place – 14 local police commanders and 17 local senior fire officers will take up their posts on April 1; and that new scrutiny arrangements have been trialled across Scotland – all 32 local authorities, eight police forces and eight fire and rescue services have been involved in the pathfinder project setting up new local scrutiny and engagement arrangements.
Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill said that, “There are only 28 working days left before the most ambitious reform of our police and fire and rescue services in a generation becomes a reality, and excellent progress is being made across the country ahead of the new services going live on April 1. After April most people won’t see a change to the excellent police and fire and rescue provision in their area – local services will still be locally delivered.”
““But there will be some added benefits. All communities have access to specialist expertise and equipment whenever and wherever it is needed and the new arrangements will lead to more local scrutiny of police and fire and rescue services than ever before. For the first time all 32 local authorities in Scotland will have the chance to directly influence the delivery of functions in their area through local police and fire plans. They will have new statutory powers to approve these plans, scrutinise service delivery and make recommendations for improvements.”
MacAskill also commented that, “By making these changes, we will protect our precious local police and fire services from Westminster cuts and continue to prioritise local, on the ground delivery to keep our communities safe.”

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