Scotland is facing a “worrying” chronic shortage of environmental health officers, the Daily Record can reveal. It’s feared the shortfall will cripple efforts to deal with river, air and noise pollution in local areas – as well as keep on top of food hygiene inspections.

Data obtained by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, shared with the Record, shows nearly one in six posts going unfilled nationwide. But that gets worse in certain places, with a 40 per cent shortfall in Fife and nearly a third of positions vacant in Scotland’s biggest cities – 32 per cent in Edinburgh and 30 per cent in Glasgow.

However, professional body the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland has found a 20 per cent decline in the number of EHOs in Scotland since 2016 – – while more than half of those who remain are over 50.

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