Building the Council of the Future

How time flies…. we’re now four weeks into the Building the Council of the Future events and more than 1800 colleagues have attended so far.

A huge thank you to those who have put forward views, ideas and questions at the events.  All of the feedback will be invaluable as we start to put together plans to push ahead with the Transformation Programme.

For those of you who have yet to attend an event, don’t worry – there’s plenty more being arranged.  These events will be a constant feature of the Transformation Programme and will change to make sure we get input at every stage depending on what’s happening.

And there are many other ways for you to keep-to-date or get involved.

In the last few weeks, the Transformation Zone has been launched as a space where you can all get information, news and updates about Transformation.  More importantly, there are many opportunities through this site to ask questions or submit comments and ideas on the information.  If you didn’t traditionally have access to The Zone, desktop computers are being fitted into all Council locations where you can get onto the intranet.

You may be interested in seeing some of the feedback that we’ve had from staff so far – on the site there’s a video clip featuring highlights of the conversations that happened.

If you want to help with communications and engagement or play a role in supporting your teams as we move through change – why not become an Employee Rep?  There’s more information on the Employee Rep Network on the Transformation Zone.

Another first over the last few weeks, was the first meeting of the Strategic Transformation Committee.  A bulletin capturing news from the Committee is also featured on the site.  As is the first edition of the Staff Guide to Transformation – October’s edition is all about our need to change and the Target Operating Model.  Each month will include different features as we go through Transformation.

So, if you haven’t already – please make sure to take advantage of the communications tools that are available and sign up to one of the events.  I’m keen to hear from you….

Check out the latest news section of the Transformation Zone. 

SPECTRA wins Festival of the Year Award

Congratulations to all the teams responsible (City Promotion & Events; Culture, Partnership & Policy), and all colleagues, volunteers and partners who made SPECTRA 2017 – Aberdeen’s festival of light – such a success.  The festival has now won Large Event of the Year and Team of the Year at The Drum Scottish Event Awards 2017.

SPECTRA is a relatively young festival, but had around 65,000 visitors in 2017 and was up against some long-established events.  Well done and we’re all looking forward to SPECTRA 2018.

Target Operating Model – engagement sessions

A big thank you to everyone who has attended one of the sessions so far. There’s been 9 to date with 15 more at the Town House and 4 at Frederick Street to come.  More are being booked to run through the October holidays and beyond.

So far over 1000 colleagues have attended or have booked to attend a future session, there’s plenty of space for more!  The events offer a real opportunity to give thoughts, ideas and opinions on the Council’s future structure and how we can best organise ourselves to deliver with a focus on the customer.  I urge everyone to come along and share their views.

A note of thanks too to those colleagues who have so far played a part in delivering the sessions and indeed in taking their own teams through the details in their own meetings.

There’s plenty of other ways for staff to get involved in the Council’s Transformation activities – check out the Transformation Hub on the Zone.

Fantastic Success at Beautiful Scotland Awards

An absolutely fantastic night for Aberdeen at the Beautiful Scotland awards!

Our list of winners:-

  • City Category winner and Gold Medal, and Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Award for our horticulture and green spaces.
  • Powis, Gold Medal and Residential Community category winners.
  • Dyce in Bloom, Gold Medal and Best Urban Community category winners.
  • Brighter Bucksburn, Silver Medal.
  • Cove in Bloom, Silver Gilt Medal.
  • Aberdeen Inspired, Silver Gilt Medal and Visit Scotland Award for Tourism.

The awards are well deserved and testament to all the hard work the team and our many (ever growing) community partners put in, not just to the campaign but to everything they do that goes towards making Aberdeen the amazing place it is. Everyone involved should be very proud of what they’ve achieved. Roll on Britain in Bloom, Champion of Champions!




A huge welcome to the many delegates in the City this week for Offshore Europe at AECC.

What I’m sure will be a hugely successful week is the culmination of many months of work by many colleagues within the Council working closely with partners and other agencies both to bring the event to Aberdeen and to show off the City to our visitors.

Thank you to everyone involved.

Sadness and concern

As we move into a new month, a brief moment to reflect on the loss of two well-regarded colleagues who will be sorely missed by all those who knew them at the Council.

Stuart Kay and David Laming both worked within Communities, Housing and Infrastructure and sadly both passed away last month, Stuart after having been taken ill and David in a tragic accident.

Everything I’ve been told about both men speaks of individuals committed to using their considerable skills for the benefit of the people they came into contact with as they went about their work for the Council,  Stuart in buildings inspection and David in energy assessment.

In addition both led rich and fulfilling lives outwith their working day and it is clear that while both will be a huge loss to friends and family, both will have left many fond memories.  I’m sure I can speak for all in the Council in extending my sympathies to their loved ones.

Meanwhile, other colleagues, other friends and another family continue to face the concern triggered by the disappearance of Nusrat Jahan who has been missing now for over a month.   I can only imagine how difficult a situation this must be for all affected.


Thank you

Huge thanks are due to the many colleagues involved in ensuring that the weekend just past was such a spectacular success for everyone involved in Celebrate Aberdeen and the Great Aberdeen Run.

The Events Team was superbly supported by many across the Council with a special mention to the Roads Team for the power of work they put in to ensure that months of preparation came to fruition on the day.

Well done to everyone involved!

Welcome Back

There’s something of an end of summer feel about today and not just because of the disappointing hint of autumn there is to the weather.  Our pupils return to school today, some moving to a new school, some coming to school for the first time ever.

There’s a welcome to for our probationer teachers and indeed for all returning staff as the school term begins in earnest.

Particular congratulations are due to those returning with their exam results to continue their studies.

Here’s hoping for a successful, happy and enjoyable school year ahead where every one of our young people has the opportunity to achieve their best.

Barcelona Attack

My thoughts this morning are on yesterday’s terrible attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. After yet another act of senseless terrorism we, like the rest of the world, can only express our sorrow and sympathy for the victims, our solidarity with the people of Spain and remain vigilant to the risks of terrorism.