Stop Threatened Closure of Ryehill Police Station

Some of the Local People Campaigning to Keep Ryehill Police Station Open
with Jenny Marra MSP & Councillor Richard McCready
Along with my colleague Jenny Marra MSP I am calling on Police Scotland and the Scottish Government to stop the threat of closing Ryehill Police Station. Police Scotland have attempted to kick the issue into the long grass but answers received in the Scottish Parliament and in correspondence in the past week show that Police Scotland plan to consult on closing Ryehill Police Station in the near future. Jenny has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the consultation to be dropped and for the station to stay open, while I am continuing to collect signatures for a petition against closure.  You can sign the petition here.

Police Scotland are saying that they are not going to close the station just now but crucially they say that "cannot give assurances" about the "long-term future" of the station. This is not good enough. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson told me in a letter that Police Scotland would be consulting on the future of Ryehill Police Office. I want a cast-iron guarantee for the future of Ryehill Police Office and a public-facing police presence in the West End for the long-term. That is why I am continuing to campaign on this important issue and collect signatures from local people in support of keeping Ryehill open.

The people of the West End need clarity on the future of Ryehill. I want a clear guarantee from Police Scotland that it will be staying open.

Jenny Marra MSP said, 'I want a guarantee that Ryehill Police Station will stay open. Ryehill was not included in the list of 58 police stations which are proposed for closure by Police Scotland but it is clear from the Cabinet Secretary in answer to Councillor McCready and myself that they do plan to consult on closing Ryehill. This lack of transparency is disgraceful. I have tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for Ryehill Police Station to remain open. There was cross-party support for Ryehill Police Station when it was debated by Dundee City Council recently, and I hope that there will be cross-party support for my motion.'

You can read a copy of the letter which I received from Michael Matheson MSP, the Cabinet Secretary forJustice, which makes it clear that there are plans to consult on closingRyehill Police Station.

Please see text of the motion tabled by Jenny Marra MSP below:

Ryehill Police Station

That the Parliament notes the consultations being conducted by Police Scotland into the future of 58 police stations around Scotland; understands that the proposed consultation on the future of Ryehill police station in the west end of Dundee was not on the published list but that the consultation on this station is due to start in January 2017; believes that it is misleading that Ryehill was not included in the list of stations under consideration; understands that closure of the station will be one of the options included in the consultation; further understands that Police Scotland has confirmed that the option of sharing facilities with other public bodies such as the council is not possible in the Ryehill building because of space constraints; notes that Police Scotland has indicated that, if Ryehill is to close, police officers for the west end community won't be based in that area but in the neighbouring council wards of Lochee and Maryfield; believes that this is not the level of service that local residents expect and deserve; considers that, if Ryehill closes, visible policing in the west end would effectively cease; understands that, for this reason, there is strong local opposition to the consultation and potential closure of Ryehill police station, and notes the calls on the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to drop the consultation and keep Ryehill open.


Remembrance Sunday

Today was Remembrance Sunday.  I know that services and commemorations took place across Dundee today.  I was at St Joseph's Church in Wilkie's Lane.  St Joseph's has a fine First World War memorial outside the church.  It is easy to walk past the memorial and for it to fade into the background in some respects, but today standing facing the memorial and looking at the list of names was humbling.  The memorial has 234 names on it.  These are all people who lived in the streets and lanes of the West End.  News of their deaths brought sadness to many households across the West End.  Thinking about this brings home the impact of the War here in Dundee.

I was honoured to be asked to read the famous verse from the Ode of Remembrance by Laurence Binyon:

'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.'

It is important to remember those who have died in conflict over the years and to redouble efforts to say 'Never again.'

If you want to support the Poppy appeal please visit PoppyScotland's Website.