Summer success for our teams

Congratulations are in order for the latest wave of achievements across the Council, with our Operations and Protective Services cluster reaping the benefits of the great collaborative approach they have adopted.

We’ve been notified that judges for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities Excellence Awards have taken the Aberdeen Communities Together (ACT) initiative forward to the next round as they prepare to select the 2019 finalists.

Making the COSLA longlist in the Achieving Better Outcomes in Partnership category is a great achievement for Environmental Manager Steven Shaw and the team. I may be biased, but ACT is already a winner in my eyes!

It brings together various organisations, including friends groups and public sector partners, as well as thousands of volunteers with the common goal of improving the environment and inspiring civic pride throughout the city – both among staff and residents.

More than 150 partnerships are part of ACT. A lot of work goes in to coordinating the efforts, but it is certainly worthwhile.

On a related note, we recently had the great news that six of our greenspaces have been awarded Green Flag status – another cause for celebration.

Duthie Park, Hazlehead Park, Johnston Gardens, Seaton Park, Slopefield Allotments and Victoria Park have all been recognized. It’s another example of the dedication and care that goes into these areas, from our own teams and from the many volunteers who play their part in tending to them.

Well done to all involved.

In a very different area of our operations, the Aberdeen Scientific Services Laboratory’s success in renewing its United Kingdom Accreditation Service accreditation was reported through the Public Protection Committee earlier in the summer.

The laboratory provides analytical services to a wide range of local authority and private clients, with a team of 20 in the Operations and Protective Services cluster. Everything from food sampling to monitoring agricultural products, potable water, swimming pools, legionella, air quality, surface and ground waters and leachates from landfill sites falls under the wing of the lab.

It’s one of the less visible Council services – but as you can see from that list, it is crucial in fulfilling our duty of protecting the people and place from harm.

My appreciation goes to the team for their diligence in what is a rigorous audit process.

Attention will turn to achievements of an academic nature this week, with the SQA results due out on Tuesday.

Good luck to the young people (and parents and carers!) who are awaiting news and thank you to the teachers and school staff who will be on hand over the holiday period to lend support and advice.