Winter festival

The Christmas Village has now opened and is looking very festive and welcoming, and I’m looking forward to visiting it in the coming weeks along with thousands of people from Aberdeen and further afield.

The idea for it came from feedback during the public consultation for the City Council’s ambitious Masterplan for the city centre, where residents and businesses asked for an increased number of big events to help entice people back to the area.

After seeing how many people were in the Christmas Village enjoying themselves, it certainly seems to be working and is a fantastic, fun addition to the Winter Festival line-up in Aberdeen.

I would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy the activities, and get into the festive spirit. Find out more via

Credit-Norman Adams-Aberdeen City Council

Bonfire night

I’m delighted to pass on to all staff involved the thanks of Duncan Smith, Local Senior Officer for Aberdeen City of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) for the fantastic support given to local firefighters over what it always their busiest period of the year.

I wholeheartedly agree with Duncan that the way in which the Council works with both SFRS and Police Scotland in Aberdeen provides ample evidence of the value and strength of local partnership working.


It will be an honour for me to once again accompany the Lord Provost, elected members and officers at Sunday’s Remembrance Service at the City’s war memorial in Schoolhill and then at St Nicholas Kirk Uniting.

As in previous years arrangements will be put in place across the Council on Wednesday 11th November to offer staff and all those in our buildings at the time the opportunity to join the national two-minute silence at 11.00 am that day.

More Awards Success

A tremendous night of awards success for Aberdeen last night in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Golden Games organised by colleagues from the Health & Social Care Partnership team triumphed in the Healthier Lifestyle category at the annual Scottish Health Awards held in Edinburgh.

 Meanwhile, across in Glasgow the Council’s East Tullos Burn Environments Improvement Project picked up the prize for Environmental Initiative of the Year at the annual Herald Society Awards.

Congratulations to all Council colleagues involved and to all those from the many partner organisations who helped make these projects the outstanding successes they are.

Senior Management Appointments

Given the subject matter of my last post on this blog, I recognise how jarring it must seem to now move on to other matters.  However, I know that with the pupils and staff now back at Cults Academy and with colleagues both within Education and Children’s Services and elsewhere within the Council responding to the medium- to long-term aftermath of last week’s tragedy with the same levels of professionalism and compassion as they did in the first few hours and days, it is appropriate for me to begin again to share news with you from elsewhere in the Council.

I am pleased to let you know that we have been joined this week by Richard Ellis as Interim Director of Corporate Governance.  Previously Strategic Director of Corporate Services at Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and with a wealth of local government and private sector experience, Richard will be with the Council until the end of June 2016. 

You may also be aware of the recent announcement that from 1st December Andrew Griffiths, currently Head of Primary Education and Curriculum Development at Aberdeenshire Council will take up the post of Joint Head of Education for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils on a six-month interim basis.

Finally, I am delighted to say that the recruitment and selection process for the post of City Centre Director is about to get underway with the intention that an appointment will be made early in the new year.  The Director will lead a small team tasked with driving the delivery of the City Centre Masterplan.