One Walk Aberdeen

Back in June I wrote about bringing together a team to participate in the JDRF sponsored walk at Drum castle on 27th September

I’m delighted to say that we now have a team in place – step forward Mark Reilly, Pete Leonard, Steven Shaw, David Leslie, Martin Wyllie, Ian Mitchell, Allison Cooper, Fiona Allardice, Sandy Scott, Fraser Bell and Tom Cowan.  There’s still time to join up, drop me a line.

In the meantime, all contributions to the cause are welcome and are very easily made.  Just follow this link and click Donate: 



Beautiful Scotland, Beautiful Aberdeen

Congratulations to all colleagues involved in bringing home to Aberdeen so many prizes from this week’s Beautiful Scotland Awards event held in Perth.

The Council itself won the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Trophy for Seaton Park.  As it happens, we all have the opportunity to admire the work there of Steven Shaw and his team this weekend as the Friends of Seaton Park hold their first Seaton ParkFest – more information at

There were also awards for Aberdeen Inspired (BID category overall winner), Growing Smarter, the Granite City (city category overall winner) and Dyce in Bloom (urban community category overall winner). 

Prizes were also won by Powis Residents Group, Cove in Bloom and Culter in Bloom.

Blood donations – well done

Colleagues from the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service have recently been in touch got in touch to say a massive thank you to all the staff who donated blood at Marischal College on Monday 10th August, notwithstanding the fire alarm that day which fortunately only affected one donation.

All in all, the donation staff said it was a brilliant result for the day with 43 pints of blood donated.

The Blood Service will be back twice next year, so there’ll be opportunities to donate again in June and September 2016.  I’ll write again on the blog nearer the time with further details.

In the meantime, well done to everyone involved.


A gold and a bronze for the City Council overnight!

Pearl Rendall won the title of School Crossing Patroller of the Year and Stephanie Campbell came third in the School Cook of the Year competition.


Congratulations to them both.  Great recognition of the work that they and their colleagues do for schools across the City.

All the best

It’s always tremendous to see the work of our colleagues being recognised at a national level and I’m sure we’ll all wish Pearl Rendall and Stephanie Campbell the very best at tonight’s ASSIST Facilities Management Awards Ceremony in Glasgow.

Pearl, a school crossing patroller for Kingsford School since 1982 has reached the final three for the National School Crossing patroller of the Year award.  Meanwhile, Stephanie who is cook-in-charge at Hazlehead School has reached the final three for the National School Cook of the Year award.

Pearl and Stephanie should already be very proud of their achievement in coming so far in the competition and whatever this evening’s results they are a great credit to the Council and the school communities they serve.

Into the Summer

A very varied week comes to an end with the beginning of the school summer holidays.  Let’s hope the weather holds.

I was delighted to attend the official launch concert on Monday of Big Noise Torry, a really exciting partnership between the Council and Sistema Scotland.  I’ve been humming the Torry Song ever since – “hear the music on the breeze, fish and chips for my tea, yes please!”

A slightly more sedate Tuesday saw me attend a lunch hosted by the Lord Provost for two senior executives from MItsubishi Heavy Industries in Europe.  The Thomas Blake Glover connection means that the City holds a special place in the history of this major Japanese company.

On Wednesday I had the chance to get back out-of-doors to enjoy the weather on a visit to the Hazlehead Grove Nursery which was officially opened yesterday.  Another superb example of partnership working both within the Council and between the Council and local groups and charities based around the vision – a smart, green place to grow people and communities.

Another week when I am once again reminded of the high quality of the work the Council does and how proud I am of the team I lead.

Shaping Aberdeen – City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme

Today’s meeting of the City Council has just ended and I’m delighted to report that the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme has been agreed unanimously by the elected members.

In one sense this is the successful culmination of over a year’s work by many Council officers working in partnership with BDP and their team of consultants but on the other hand we must recognise that the hard work starts now as we move forward to deliver the projects that will make the 20 year vision a reality. 

But what an exciting opportunity there is before us now to work with partners, stakeholders and the people we serve to make a real difference to Aberdeen and the wider North East.

The Council:-

  • agreed the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme; 
  • recognised that while the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme establishes the framework for the regeneration of Aberdeen’s city centre, each project will be subject to detailed scrutiny and the normal development control processes;
  • noted the impact the City Centre Masterplan will have in informing all relevant policies, strategies and plans either for which the Council has a statutory responsibility or which the Council itself agrees and implements; 
  • agreed that officers will undertake a review of the Council’s financial strategies in relation to the capital plan, the Common Good and asset acquisition and disposal in light of the City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme and report to Committee with recommended changes as necessary;
  • agreed in principle the interventions set out in the City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme, noting that due diligence will be undertaken in relation to the financial, legal and all other implications on each project or programme of activity contained within the City Centre Masterplan that it falls to the Council to deliver with the results of this due diligence being reported to Committee ahead of any decision being taken to proceed;
  • agreed that the Chief Executive will report to Council at its meeting on 19th August 2015 on the establishment of an in-house officer team to facilitate the implementation of the Delivery Plan;
  • agreed the Chief Executive will report to Council on 19th August 2015 on the governance arrangements for the establishment of an Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan Reference Group bringing together citizen, public sector, business, academic and funder representatives; 
  • agreed that the Chief Executive will report to the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee on 15th September 2015 a proposed programme of enabling works and activities;
  • agreed that regular update reports on the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme will be brought to Council; and
  • agreed that the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan and Delivery Programme be shared with all relevant partner organisations.

So, plenty to do. 

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has played a role to date, delivery starts now.

Success for the Libraries Team

Great news of a national award won by the Library and Information Service.

The team’s link with last summer’s Wild Dolphins project across the City has been recognised with a Marketing Excellence Award from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)

The awards recognise success in marketing activities undertaken by libraries to encourage more people to make use of their services.  The Silver Award won by Aberdeen is one of only four given out across the UK for 2014. 

A School of Dolphins saw over 30 miniature dolphin sculptures displayed in libraries across the City as part of the Wild Dolphins art project between June and August 2014.  Children were encouraged to visit their local library during the school holidays to view the sculptures and find out more about libraries.  Throughout the period, public libraries in Aberdeen received an additional 38,805 visitors compared to the same period in 2013 and signed up nearly 2,500 new members.

Well done to everyone involved.

Summer in the City

An update to my blog below to let you know that the guide is available on the Family Information Service website

With the school holidays fast approaching thoughts are no doubt turning to how to keep the children entertained over six long weeks. 

The Family Information Service has helpfully produced the brochure Summer in the City 2015 which is packed with events and activities for children and young people.


Pick up your copy from Marischal College or your local access point, library or sports centre.  The guide has also been sent to every school in the City. 

Happy holidays!

Shaping Aberdeen – Extended Corporate Management Team

I’ve blogged on various occasions over the past few months as appointments have been made to the Extended Corporate Management Team (ECMT) following the restructure agreed by the Council last year.

I’m pleased to say that we now have available a schematic which shows the ECMT structure and post-holders, follow the link here:

You’ll see from the diagram that Fraser Bell will join us as Head of Legal and Democratic Services next month.  The recruitment process for the Director of Corporate Governance will also get underway in July and the intention is to have an appointment made by mid-September.  I’ll keep everyone updated.