Preparations for single fire service ahead of schedule

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Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham has welcomed news that preparations for the new single fire and rescue service in the Lothian and Borders area are progressing well.

Ms Cunningham was speaking after a meeting of officers from the five Pathfinder groups that are shaping local arrangements for East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, when the new service goes live on April 1.

David Millar, Acting Chief Officer of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service, outlined key aspects of each group’s work, which included preparing local plans and agreeing how the service will be accountable and meet the needs of local people.

Ms Cunningham said: “The work of Pathfinder groups such as these is essential in ensuring we build upon the excellent work done by our existing services to provide an even better service for our communities after April 1.

“Local delivery will continue to be at the heart of the new service. I am delighted with the progress being made to put strong local arrangements in place.

“I look forward to visiting more Pathfinder groups and learning about their priorities over the coming months.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2013, which will create a statutory framework for how the new service will operate. The consultation closes on February 18.