Iain Gray MSP joined Fa’side ward Labour councillors Jim Gillies, Donald Grant and Shamin Akhtar in Tranent today to launch a petition to keep the town’s police station open to the public and oppose the withdrawal of local traffic warden services.

The petition has been launched following Police Scotland proposals unveiled last week to close the public counter service at the Tranent station and withdraw police traffic warden services across East Lothian.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“The proposals to close Tranent police station to the public and withdraw local police traffic warden services are another blow for public services in East Lothian. I’ve spoken to some key local groups and representatives and it is clear that people are concerned about the impact of closing Tranent police station to the public.

“I also fear that this is just the thin end of the wedge and that if the station is closed to the public the next step will be to reduce other aspects of local policing. This would threaten the important link between the police and local communities, and cause real anxiety for many local people.

“There are also genuine concerns about the traffic chaos that could ensue if police traffic wardens are withdrawn from Tranent and other parts of the county. Parents are particularly concerned about problems that will occur at school drop-off and pick-up times. I want this proposal put on hold until a plan for replacing the police traffic wardens has been agreed.

“I am calling on Police Scotland and the SNP Scottish Government, which is ultimately responsible for decisions on policing, to listen to local people’s concerns and rethink their proposals.”

Councillor Donald Grant, who has represented Tranent on East Lothian Council for over 14 years, said:

“Great progress has been made on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Tranent in recent years. That progress has been based on a good working relationship between the police and local communities. I believe that closing the station to the public sends out the wrong message and will reduce accessibility to local policing for people in Fa’side.

“We accepted the need for a single police force, but cannot accept a rolling back of community policing in Fa’side. Jim, Shamin and I will be fighting this closure and the withdrawal of traffic warden services, and we are urging people in Fa’side to join us and sign our petition against the proposals.”

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