As I write this on Christmas Eve it’s clear from the ranks of empty desks in both Marischal and the Town House that it is more than likely that the majority of people reading this will be doing so when we’re all back at work in January.

I wanted to take the opportunity once again to thank each and every member of the Council team for the work they have done during the year drawing to a close and to put on record now my appreciation of the work to be done in the coming year.  Whenever possible (and some individuals and teams are still far too reticent about letting the rest of us know about the great work they are doing) I mention in this blog on a satisfyingly regular basis the prizes and awards with which our efforts for the people of Aberdeen are recognised.  However, I also well appreciate the quality of the work done by our teams every day across the City – it might not win the national plaudits but it is nevertheless vital to the individuals, families and communities we serve.

The highlight of my working week is very often when I take the opportunity to visit colleagues in their workplace and hear from them direct about their work with the Council.  I’ll once again be carving as much time as possible out of my diary in 2016 to ensure that I can continue to do this.  I’d be delighted to receive an invitation to visit from any team who’d like to meet, its tea with milk and two sugars please.

The new year will see new developments in both the Council’s recognition of long service and the Star Awards celebrating the achievement of individuals and teams.  The latter is to expand to become a wider staff thanks and recognition (Star) programme.  Look out for details in the coming weeks.  I know I speak for all of ECMT when I say that we are determined to make a tangible difference to the experience of working for the Council and meaningful schemes that show the Council’s appreciation of the work done on its behalf are key to this.  However, ECMT does not have all the answers and I’d encourage everyone to make use of the recently re-launched Ideas Hub to share suggestions on how we can change for the better.

The year ahead is bound to offer challenges, but there’ll be opportunities too.  Given what we’ve achieved this year, I’m confident that we can meet them both.

Written by aberdeenccblog

Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council. All views are my own.