While there is anger about plans to axe the public counter at Selkirk police station, deeper worries exist over the end of traffic wardens.
Although he agrees the closure of the public counter at Selkirk station is another reduction in local services, local Scottish Borders councillor Gordon Edgar (Ind) says he is more worried about the impact of the plan to axe police traffic wardens, of which there are three remaining in the Borders.
“As of December 31 there will be no traffic wardens. They can consult all they want, it won’t make any difference – they’ll be gone,” he said.
“And this is a far greater threat to the economy of the Borders. It could affect tourism and local businesses. The three wardens do get about and it’s the knowledge that one could appear anytime, anywhere that makes people think twice about where they park.
“But if people know there are no wardens, they will park wherever they like and that will cause serious problems for Selkirk and the Borders.”
Asked if Scottish Borders Council would consider taking on provision of wardens as some local authorities have done, Mr Edgar says there is no budget for such provision.
Meanwhile, media reporting of plans to close police station public counters – and resulting fears for the future of small stations themselves – saw Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson, who led the review of public counters as Police Scotland struggles to find £60million of savings, yesterday respond to station closure fears.
“Having reviewed all the media reporting on this important issue yesterday, there is only one point that I would like to make absolutely clear,” he said. “My review of the public-counter provision is definitely not about closing entire police station buildings.”
ACC Mawson said his review was about rationalising front-counter provision and keeping as many police officers as possible on the street.
Selkirk Community Council chairman Graham Easton is unsure what local reaction to news of the counter-closure plan will be. “Unfortunately, I think it’s something we’ll just have to live with,” he said.