In an intervention during Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill’s speech, Aileen asked what action was being taken to ensure that genuine redeployment opportunities are available to staff affected by the closure, given Dumfries is more remote from other Police Scotland facilities.
Speaking following the debate, Aileen commented:
“When I met with Dumfries control room staff they told me that one of their biggest concerns is the fact that any redeployment opportunities are so far away that it would be impossible for them to take them up. It is highly unlikely, for example, that staff would be able to move to Glasgow if employment opportunities were available at the control rooms there and commuting is of course impossible.
“These are well-trained, highly efficient and dedicated public servants who play an important role in keeping Dumfries & Galloway safe. As far as I am concerned Police Scotland has a duty of care to them which it needs to fulfil.
“I am pleased that the Cabinet Secretary has already discussed these matters with the Chief Constable and I have also been in correspondence with him on the matter. I am quite clear however that Police Scotland’s promise there will be no compulsory redundancies has to be kept and means real employment opportunities for the staff.”
Notes: Dr McLeod’s intervention and Mr MacAskill’s response are below:
Aileen McLeod (South Scotland) (SNP): The cabinet secretary will be aware of concern in Dumfries about how members of staff can realistically benefit from any relocation opportunities that arise from the closure of the Dumfries control room, given the town’s remoteness from such opportunities. What efforts are being made to address such concerns?
Kenny MacAskill: The chief constable is making every effort to engage; indeed, when I met him last week, we discussed the matter. Discussions are on-going and everyone is happy to continue that process. Indeed, I myself have met the council’s leader and deputy leader to continue the discussions.