What's Next

A few weeks ago, I spoke about finance minister John Swinney shifting the weight of responsibility onto others.

Distancing himself from the tough decisions, he announced a massive £600m cut to council budgets, forcing them to decide what public services will face the axe.

He also ignored the plight of our colleges, forcing the likes of James Watt to reduce student numbers and to choose which staff members are made redundant and which courses are cut.

This week it was the turn of Scotland’s police force to carry the weight, with the announcement that seventy police counters at stations up and down the country are facing closure, including those here in Gourock and Port Glasgow.

This comes on top of the 1,200 jobs already lost amongst police support staff, forcing officers to take on more paper work, and giving them less time to be in the communities where they are needed most.

As a result, the links that police officers have built up with communities may be jeopardised, undermining people’s confidence to report crimes.

Given the cuts to council budgets, college finances, police personnel and now the proposed closure of police counters, fears are now rising as to what will be next.

Will it be Scotland’s police emergency control rooms which answer thousands of 999 calls every year that could face closure?

Or will Scotland’s fire stations be next in line?

Whatever happens, the finance secretary should not be allowed to continue to abdicate responsibility, and he must be held to account for his pass the buck policy which is hurting communities here in Inverclyde, and across Scotland