FIRE stations in Clackmannanshire are currently not under threat of closure according to the area’s new local senior officer.

Roddie Keith, who was appointed to the role of senior officer for Stirling and Clackmannanshire permanently last month, assured Wee County residents that there are absolutely no plans to change the services in Alloa or Tillicoultry and any decision is a long way away.

He said: “There is no direct threat to either Clackmannanshire station right now. How we use our resources is being looked at at a national level.

“I would appreciate the residents’ concern at any story about closures. I have to point out that there is no suggestion that any resource in Clackmannanshire is under threat.

“I can guarantee you from the fire and rescue side of things that no decisions have been made and we’re a long way away from those decisions. We are keen to hear opinions on the changes though.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was formed in 2013 after eight local services were merged together, a move which Keith reckons has made the service better.

“The fire and rescue service is going through a transformational stage. Transforming into a national service in 2013 was a huge change and has allowed us to work a bit more efficiently.

“Our budget has been flat for the last few years and we expect it to stay the same going forward. The fire service is changing all the time. It has served us well but it no longer reflects how we live our lives, so it is a chance to change the service.”

When it was put to him that a Clackmannanshire councillor was adamant that Alloa was going to be shut, the senior officer reiterated how far away any decisions may be.

“Our chief officer is keen to begin a conversation with the community and talk to them and be honest with them about where we are going.

“But that’s all it is, a conversation. There have been absolutely no decisions taken and no changes in locations of resources will happen. There will be a full public consultation which hasn’t even started.

“We’re a long way away from any decisions being made.”

The issue stems from a leaked memo to fire service staff that indicated some closures may come as part of a restructuring at a national level.

A statement also refused to rule out closures in Clackmannanshire, in which it said “this is not about cuts, it is about the transformation of a delivery model that has served us well”.

MSP for Central Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, previously told the Advertiser that any move which closes Wee County fire stations “cannot be allowed to happen”.