Scotland’s fire brigade structure is to be the subject of a review, Home Affairs Minister Henry McLeish said today.
Addressing the ‘Fire 98’ conference in Glasgow, Mr McLeish stressed that any proposals would be for the Scottish Executive to take forward and put them to the new Parliament.
Speaking on the subject of devolution, the Minister said:
“The Fire Service, like other vital local government services in Scotland, is likely to come under much closer Parliamentary scrutiny once a Scottish Parliament is in place. At the same time, the Service will have more immediate access when issues concerning it are under consideration.
“The structure of the fire service in Scotland is a matter which I would expect the parliament, sooner or later, to turn its attention.
“We have one fire brigade - Strathclyde, the second largest in Europe - serving half our population and seven brigades - including Dumfries and Galloway, the smallest in mainland Britain - serving the other half. That structure, the legacy of regionalisation, provides one reason for the review.
“We intend to begin now to gather information and ideas which will assist in the process of review. But I would make it quite clear - since there have been reports to the contrary - that the present government has no particular proposals in mind.
“It will be for the Scottish Executive to take this matter forward and to put any proposals to the Scottish Parliament.
“What I want to emphasise is that the whole process of review, consultation, formulation and consideration of proposals will be done in partnership with local authorities, the fire boards and the FBU. All who wish to contribute to that process will find that they are able to do so much more effectively than has ever before been possible.”

News Release: 1786/98
8 September 1998


It is rumoured that the present eight brigades will be amalgamated into three, as happened in Wales in 1996.
A possibility would be :-
Highlands & Islands with Grampian
Strathclyde with Dumfries & Galloway and Central
Lothian & Borders with Fife and Tayside.

The above is purely a guess on my part and so far has no sustenance.



In November 2000 the Minister for Justice confirmed that all eight Scottish Fire Brigades will maintain their current geographical areas and independent status; a decision applauded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and all of us in the Brigade. We are indeed proud of our traditions, history and identity. The Minister's decision was conditional upon clear evidence of collaboration between Fire Brigades and other Agencies to achieve Best Value, and to that end we are currently negotiating a number of joint initiatives with other Fire Brigades and working closely with our colleagues in the Police to identify common ground to seek Best Value.
(Dumfries and Galloway Fire Brigade Service Plan 2001. Page 4 Firemaster's Report.)

9/11/2011 Chief Fire Officer Jimmy Campbell of Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service has been seconded as "lead officer" of the Scottish Government's Fire Reform Programme which will bring about a single Scottish Fire Service.