Chief Executive's Blog

September 2017

Given the launch of the recent My Moray campaign to support our Growth Fund bid, I thought I’d share what I see as the future for Moray as I re-launch my blog after the summer break.

My vision is a Moray which is part of the Scottish mix; a top 10 Council, outward looking, with something to contribute to the nation and the right to be listened to and supported in the same way as well as other parts of Scotland.

Did you know that Moray is host to more than half of all the whisky distilleries in Scotland, an industry which collectively contributes an estimated £282m to the UK Exchequer? Or that we are home to 5 of the 25 oldest family businesses in Scotland, one being the richest?

In the knowledge of our contribution to the nation’s coffers, myself, our Directors and Heads of Service have been working hard in recent months to take our Growth Fund bid forward. At the same time we are working with our new Councillors to help them get to grips with the day to day workings of the Council, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead over the next 5 years.

I’m heartened that, against the harsh reality of delivering high quality services at a time of financial constraint and increasing demand, we are demonstrating bold intent and ambition in pursuing an innovative vision of economic growth on that reflects the value of tradition and heritage in Moray.

Another sign of the recognition we are getting was a recent visit by the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, who was keen to meet with a number of Moray’s local businesses to better understand the opportunities and challenges they face.

A key objective of the growth bid is making sure our young people have the right skills for work and business. The council provided several places for interns on our Career Ready programme, and I’m therefore delighted to have been accepted as a mentor for this highly successful project.

As you may be aware Moray is also a member of alliance of seven councils across the North of Scotland collaborating to improve the educational outcomes of our young people. This alliance has recently has been awarded £800,000 from the Scottish Government which must mean we’re doing something right.

I have often pursued a musical theme in my blog and during the summer I saw the talents of many of our young - and not so young - being shown at the Moray Schools Orchestra Summer concert and at the traditional music festival, Speyfest.

It is also good to see individuals across all walks of life in Moray being recognised nationally for their achievements, bringing such credit to Moray, for example Hythehill Depute Headteacher Rachel Wolford winning a UKL-wide science and maths teaching award, and honours for local businessman David Robertson.

The start of new term is not only seen many new pupils and teachers but also people new to teaching, such as the first six graduates from our Dlite programme.

In my next blog I will tell you more about Moray’s ambition and how the Council proposes tackling the challenge of providing public services for the people of Moray in such difficult financial times.   In the meantime please get behind the Moray Growth Bid.

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