Date lodged: 8 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the view that a reliable emergency mobile communications system is vital for the emergency services.
Answered by: Annabelle Ewing 15 November 2017
A reliable mobile communications system is vital for our emergency services and is a core part of operational delivery. This is currently provided primarily by the Airwave network. Airwave is due to be replaced by the Emergency Services Network in the coming years, under a programme led by the Home Office and in which Scottish Government is a co-sponsor and funder.
We are full partners in this, so it is indefensible that – for Scotland alone – over the 15 year timeline of the new network £65m will be syphoned off by the UK Treasury in irrecoverable VAT.
The Scottish Government works closely with the emergency services to monitor the performance of the current network and to ensure the new ESN meets their operational needs.