At a meeting of the Highland Council's Communities and Partnerships Committee today, Police Scotland confirmed that they are facing a £25 million budget shortfall.
Reacting to this announcement, Tain councillor and Holyrood hopeful Jamie Stone told the committee that the time has come for the Highland Council to seek a face to face meeting with the member of the Scottish Government with ultimate responsibility for policing, Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson.
Jamie says: "Mr Matheson knows the Highlands, his family hail from Tain, and he himself used to work for the Council's Social Work department - so it would be highly appropriate for him to meet with the Highland Council to hear our concerns regarding the cash-strapped situation of Police Scotland."
"It is some time since Scotland's single police force was put in place - and I feel that we owe it to the people we represent to now press for this meeting. We need to know the Scottish Government's thinking regarding the policing of Scotland, and we need to ensure that as a council we have our own input at the highest level."
Caithness councillor and former senior police officer Matthew Reiss supported Mr Stone's plea and the committee chair Councillor Hamish Fraser confirmed that he was amenable to such a meeting, possibly in conjunction with representatives of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles councils.