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The difference between value and cost appears to be lost to those behind the Government driven proposals to restructure Scottish policing from its current composition of eight forces down to one.
Those prompting such a merger claim it will substantially reduce costs without impacting on operation effectiveness despite the fact that between 86% - 87% of funding is committed on officer and support staff wages.
Only the most naive would believe that the suggested levels of savings can be achieved without significantly impacting on quality of service currently provided.
In addition to the above no accurate estimates as to how much such a merger would cost have been produced. Its worth noting that in 2006 a similar proposal for forces in England and Wales was abandoned when these costs were established. In effect the financial benefits of such a merger are far from proven.
Even if those supportive of the proposals eventually manage to establish accurate costs, what they in their arrogance have failed to take into consideration is the value that local communities place in being able to influence the manner in which they are policed.
Despite undoubted assurances to the contrary the priorities of Dumfries and Galloway and similar local rural areas will be inconsequential when ranked against those of Glasgow or Edinburgh and a national force will ultimately adopt policies focused on addressing urban areas needs to the detriment of rural communities.
The Government has now embarked on a three moth consultation process on this issue.
Whilst those who have the opportunity to read the consultation would be forgiven for believing that this is a consultation in name only and that the out come has already been decided, I would urge all those who believe that their communities policing needs are best assessed on a local basis as opposed to being part of a national program, to take the opportunity to register their opposition to these proposals.
Ian Howie Q.P.M.
In today’s world, procedures rule the workforce but what about a little compassion and respect? What does that cost? Nothing. That’s the question I’d like to put to those who are so-called caring for our tenants - DGHP.
My mother who died suddenly three weeks ago had been a council tenant in the same house for 50 years. Following her death, DGHP were contacted as per procedure and informed that her tenancy would be terminated within the allocated time set by them.
Two days following this information, I was angry and distressed to learn that my mother’s house had been offered to another whilst my mother’s name was still on the tenancy and would be for a further two weeks as her rent was paid up to then.
On contacting the DGHP customer services, I was disgusted at the lack of compassion and understanding from the lady I spoke with.
I was informed that the DGHP had procedures to follow and unfortunately it did not matter if the tenant had died - they still had to follow these so-called procedures. How disrespectful.
A message to the DGHP - maybe you should review your procedures and show a little compasssion and respect when dealing with the termination of a deceased person’s tenancy.
Death of a much loved mum and dealing with the house clearance is hard enough without the added distress caused by the DGHP through lack of respect and understanding of the grieving process.
I fully understand that the DGHP is a business. There is a shortage of housing so, allocation of property is important and should be done as soon as possible. But why does it have to be done immediately? Why not wait until the tenancy has been terminated?
After all, I was informed by the customers service that the new tenant wouldn’t be moving in immediately. So why not wait? Especially in the event of a tenant’s death before they send out a letter offering the tenancy to someone else.
I think that DGHP should review and seriously consider their procedures in these circumstances. Therefore protecting others from the distress myself and my family have been subjected too.
FROM following the various articles which have appeared in your paper, it is blatantly obvious Tories do not talk to Tories.
The most recent issue is the criticism by Alex Fergusson on Dumfries and Galloway Council regarding the lack of consultation with the community before it decided to move a children’s home to Cairnryan.
Did Mr Fergusson never give it a thought that it is the Tories that lead Dumfries and Galloway Council? Did he not realise that Tory councillor John Dougan is the person responsible (receiving a substantial allowance for doing so, I hasten to add) for the actions of the Social Work Department?
Did Councillor Dougan not tell his Tory colleague, Mr Alex Fergusson, that only one week before Mr Fergusson made his attack on Dumfries and Galloway Council that Councillor Dougan and fellow Tory councillor Roberta Tuckfiels voted against a motion at the social work committee on February 24 to clarify what was meant by ‘public consultation’ and to putting a hold on the process of moving the children’s home to Cairnryan?
All of this must be of huge embarrassment to Mr Fergusson but, no doubt, we will shortly see Mr Fergusson come around our doors with the Tory councillors putting on a brave face telling us that they are united in their actions!
While they try to justify their blatant opposing position, and many others such as the winter gritting programme which I have written about where again Mr Fergusson criticised Dumfries and Galloway Council, unfortunately where the Tories are united is in their ideology to cutting public services.
We are now feeling the true effect of Tory cuts going too deep and far too fast.
Tories wanted to tax the disabled by charging for Blue Badges, reducing the budget on community wardens and putting the community safety at risk.
And now they don’t even want to have meaningful consultation with the community of Cairnryan on something that directly affects the community as well as the young children that will be affected by such a wrong move at changing location.
How will Mr Fergusson answer these questions or will he just continue to distance himself from politics and the Tories as he has done for the past four years?