Success takes many forms in an organisation as large and diverse as Aberdeen City Council – but hard work, knowledge and expertise underpin everything we achieve.
There have been some great achievements in the past week across many different services. Some have taken the form of awards, others relate to exceptional delivery.
There was an example of that this weekend, when in the early hours of Saturday morning teams were mobilised to respond as part of the Local Resilience Partnership after reports of a fire in a communal area at Cairncry Court, a multi-storey property.
Fortunately nobody was injured in the incident, which is always the prime concern, and there was no serious damage to the building – however in the early stages of any response that can never be taken for granted.
The fire did impact on power and water supply to the building and plans had to be made for a rest centre for residents, not to mention the remedial work required to restore normal service.
The response from Aberdeen City Council teams and our partners was excellent and I commend everyone for their swift, reassuring and efficient actions. Special mention must go to Wendy Carle and Paul Clark for their exemplary efforts on site. It is the latest in a number of incidents Wendy and her colleagues as well as Paul and his colleagues from building services have dealt with.
Staying on the theme of recognising staff who go above and beyond the call of duty, that applies to two employees who have recently reached 25-years of service. Mary Simpson, cleaning team leader for the Bridge of Don and Oldmachar areas, and Carol Scott, who is the cleaning charge-hand at St Machar Academy, have rightly won praise for their attitude and commitment. Both ladies lead by example and I congratulate them on their service.
The blend of experience and new staff eager to learn will be vital in building the Council of the future and we had confirmation this week that the approach is paying dividends,
Three of our apprentices were shortlisted in the APSE annual awards. Graeme Baird, Craig Paterson and David Hutcheon flew the flag proudly for Aberdeen in the face of competition from across the country.
All three did fantastically well to reach the final and Graeme triumphed on the night by winning the Apprentice of the Year prize – the fourth consecutive year he has been chosen by judges, which is a remarkable achievement for Graeme and all those who have supported him through his apprenticeship.
Within 24-hours of that individual award we had further success on a project level at the Aberdeen Society of Architects annual ceremony, with Marischal Square winning the public realm award and The Hub at Middlefield commended. These awards reflect positively on the teams that have brought two very different but important developments to fruition.
To round off the recent good news, I must take the opportunity to thank Kincorth Academy’s acting head teacher Mike Paul and his team for their work, which was singled out by inspectors as an important factor in the continued improvement of the school and the transition plans for the opening of Lochside Academy.