Scotland

Fire chiefs in call for single-service 'evidence'

fire engine
Image caption A consultation is under way that could see the number of fire services cut

Chief fire officers have criticised the SNP government for failing to provide proper evidence for a single fire and rescue service for Scotland.

The move has come during a consultation which could see the number of fire services and police forces cut.

The Chief Fire Officers Association has outlined its concerns in a letter to Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing.

The Scottish government has said there is a "compelling case" for a national fire service.

Currently there are eight fire and rescue services in Scotland.

In the letter, the chairman of the Chief Fire Officers Association in Scotland, David Wynne, said the consultation had failed to provide evidence and information that would allow the public and interested parties to make an informed decision on the future of fire services.

Mr Wynne, who is the chief fire officer for Highlands and Islands, said the Scottish government needed to explain the compelling arguments for one service.

On Saturday Mr Ewing said that no decisions had been taken yet.

Scottish Labour are in favour of a single fire service for Scotland, while the SNP say they see a case for it.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are opposed to centralising emergency services, while the Scottish Conservatives say there should be a full debate on the issue.

The consultation on reforming the fire service in Scotland finishes on 5 May.

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