Star Awards

Is it really a week since the wonderful evening at the Beach Ballroom when we celebrated all our fantastic 2017 Star Awards winners?

Happily, there’s still time to once again recognise the incredible achievements of all the awardees:

  • Angus Beacom – Rising Star
  • Children’s Social Work, Reception Team – Team of the Year
  • Jean Stewart-Coxon – Improving Staff Experience
  • Ross Allan – Improving Customer Experience
  • Seaton Park Team – Collaboration
  • Countryside Rangers – Use of Resources
  • Mike Chalmers – People’s Champion
  • Gilbert Road Children’s Home – Innovation
  • John Anderson – Shining Star

A heartfelt well done to all!  It’s now only 51 weeks to the presentation of the 2018 Awards, let’s all keep out eyes open to the work that goes on around us and be ready to nominate once the call goes out.

As I said last Thursday evening – let’s all commit that before this time next week we’ve all at least once said thank you for a Council service received and at least once expressed our appreciation to a Council colleague for the work they’ve done. Let’s be that organisation!  

If you were there last week I really hope that you’ve been able to do this and you can make a weekly habit of it.  If you weren’t at the Beach Ballroom, no worries the invitation to commit is open to all!

More Award Success

Congratulations to Zandora McLaren, a residential practitioner at Gilbert Road Children’s Home, who recently won the Rising Star Award at the CELCIS (Centre for excellence for looked after children in Scotland) Awards ceremony.

Well done Zandora.


Trevor Smith

Very sadly, I write to let you know that Trevor Smith, one of our most respected former colleagues who retired in November last year, passed away yesterday.

Trevor worked for the Council for almost 40 years and for many of us was a much loved and respected friend and colleague.

Trevor’s legacy with the Council is not only evident through his impact on the people he met but through the variety of projects he delivered including the award-winning Aberdeen Maritime Museum and His Majesty’s Theatre extension among many more.

Trevor received a Star Award for respect in 2014 having been nominated by his colleagues.  His impact on the construction and development industry in the North East will be much missed.

On behalf of the Council I will be sending support and sympathy from us all to Trevor’s family.

I ask you all to keep Trevor and his family in your thoughts.

Another day, another award

News overnight of more recognition for the Council, this time the 2017 MJ Achievement Award for Innovation in Finance.  Well done to all involved.

Well done too to colleagues in Environmental Services who were shortlisted in the Best Council Service Award for our Growing Smarter programme.

Food for Life Award

Excellent news that the Council’s School Catering Service has this year not only retained the Soil Association’s Food for Life Silver Award for all primary schools but has now also had its work in the secondary schools recognised at the same level.

The Soil Association considers the make-up of menus, with the degree of use of fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce to prepare freshly cooked meals being the criterion used to judge the award level.  With an increase in the use of organic produce, the primary school award was upgraded from Bronze to Silver in 2016 and further progression has been made this year with the academies also now gaining the Silver Award.

The City Council thus becomes the first Scottish Local Authority to have achieved Silver standard for our entire school meal provision.

Well done to everyone involved.

Glad rags on

Really looking forward to this evening’s Star Awards event at the Beach Ballroom.

It’s always a highlight of the year, an opportunity to celebrate together some of the outstanding work done throughout the Council and across the City by talented, enthusiastic and committed teams and individuals.  All the best to each and every one of the shortlisted nominees.

A huge thank you in advance to everyone who has played a part in bringing together what promises to be a glittering and enjoyable evening, and “break a leg” to our two MCs for the night Claire Wright and Cal Sinclair.

Let’s have some fun.

Another award for Steve

Congratulations are once again due to our multi-award winning Head of Finance, Steve Whyte who last night picked up the Emerging Finance Director of the Year prize at the Scottish Accountancy and Finance Awards.

Well done to Steve and to the entire Finance Team.

Grenfell Tower Fire

I am certain that I speak for all in expressing shock and sadness at the horrific events in London. I think we all have the right to feel safe and secure in our own homes and it is terrible to think of what faced the residents of Grenfell Tower in the early hours of yesterday morning.  It is truly heartbreaking.

Given the entirely justifiable concerns felt by residents of our own multi storey blocks here in Aberdeen, I’d like to thank all the colleagues involved yesterday in bringing together and circulating clear messages of reassurance setting out the situation in relation to our blocks of flats.  We of course will keep the situation under review and we await the results of the investigation that will inevitably follow this tragic fire.

Colleagues will bring reports forward to Committee in light of any recommendations made, fully addressing any implications there may be for multi-storey blocks.

Food Bank Appeal

You may have noticed that the Food Banks Partnership Aberdeen crates are once again available to receive donations.

There is currently an urgent need to replenish stocks and I wanted once again to take the opportunity to invite you to support this drive.  Colleagues have been incredibly generous in the past and I hope that once again we will be able to provide the Partnership with greatly needed supplies.

Thank you in advance.

Thank you

A note of my huge appreciation to everyone from across the Council and beyond who played a role in the delivery of both the Local Government Elections last month and the General Election last week.

Elections are huge projects demanding the orchestration of large numbers of people, venues, pieces of equipment and (most importantly) ballot papers on a timeline with deadlines that simply can not be missed.  I was delighted with the successful way in which both elections were delivered in the City.

I’d also like to pay thanks to everyone who has been involved in the design and delivery of the programme of activities put in place to support the arrival and settling in of the 45 councillors elected on May 4th.  I understand that it has been greatly appreciated at the Town House.

Thank you to everyone involved.