Jo is pressing the Government to get the “security fencing” at Milngavie reservoir removed as soon as possible.
It has been variously reported in the press that the security fence was erected in response to orders from the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office or MI5. In 2004, The Herald reported that it had obtained documents via a Freedom of Information request which showed the Home Office made the order “in the interests of national security” in response to a terrorist threat.
The fence is built only on a small section of the circumference of the reservoir, and local people have argued that it is an eyesore which has no security purpose. Liberal Democrat Councillors put forward a motion, which passed unanimously by East Dunbartonshire Council, urging Scottish Water and local politicians to seek to get the fence removed as soon as possible.
Jo has questioned the Ministry of Defence on the matter, who claimed the issue was the responsibility of Scottish Ministers. Jo has submitted further questions to the Home Office.
Commenting, Jo said:
“The so-called ‘security fence’ at Milngavie reservoir is spoiling the view in one of Milngavie’s most treasured beauty spots.
“No satisfactory explanation has ever been given as to why the fence was needed in the first place. It is difficult to see how it could be protecting the reservoir from contamination, given that it covers such a small area of the bank.
“I will continue to press the Government to find out why the fence is still standing, and I hope Scottish Water will see sense and have it removed.”
The text of Jo’s question to the Ministry of Defence appears below:
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent discussions or correspondence he has had with representatives of Scottish Water on the security fences around Milngavie reservoir; (2) what threat the security fences around Milngavie reservoir are intended to address; and if he will make a statement; (3) what recent assessment he has made of the requirement for security fences around Milngavie reservoir.
Mr. Kevan Jones [holding answer 11 January 2010]: This is a devolved matter and is the responsibility of Scottish Ministers, as the Milngavie reservoir is not an MOD site. On this occasion, the MOD’s general advisory guidelines on fencing for sites were provided on request to Scottish Water.