THE Scottish Justice Minister will be blatantly flying in the face of Clydesdale public opinion – including that of 500 Biggar area residents – if he approves the plan to close most of the area’s police office counters.
That was the fighting talk coming from rural Clydesdale MP David Mundell who challenged minister Kenny MacAskill directly over the claim that the counters, such as the one in his constituency at Biggar Police Station, were simply not used often enough to justify their retention.
The MP was reacting to a letter sent to him by Mr MacAskill which, said Mr Mundell: “revealed that in a 20 day period at Biggar there were just over 60 visits by members of the public, but that was not enough to keep the station open.
“He said this was a low level of use and there were instead a range of other ways the police could be contacted, from the telephone to making appointments for home visits by police officers.
“This is not good enough; the Minister’s admission that more than 60 people had visited the small Biggar station in a 20 day period shows that there IS a need to keep it open.”
He said that 500 people had so far signed the petition calling for the Biggar counter service to be retained; a similar petition campaign is being run by Lesmahagow MP Michael McCann to save that village’s police public counter.
The other station counter under threat is in Carluke, where no petition has yet been mounted.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette.