Chief Executive's Blog

Each month our Chief Executive, Roddy Burns, writes a blog to keep us up-to-date on what he's been up to over the past few weeks, and what he's got scheduled for the month ahead. From meetings with cabinet ministers, to attending local art or music shows, it gives us an insight into the work and personal life of our Chief Executive.

Read the most current blog below, or choose a month from the menu to read a previous entry.

March 2018

Work has already begun on the timetable to plan the Council’s finances from 2019/20 onwards.

The chances are that at any one moment, there will be some parts of the Council that could benefit from investment and other parts from efficiencies.  When reviewing budgets and plans the challenge is from both points of view how much should we invest and how much can we save.

The Council must have in place appropriate senior management structures to support the delivery and is currently reviewing them in order to ensure that they are both lean and effective.

It is good news that Laurence Findlay, Corporate Director (Education and Social Care) has been seconded to the Northern Alliance.  This has to be tempered with the reality of how the considerable gap he will leave is to be filled.  Along with senior colleagues we are working on the immediate to short term solution.

As you might expect my role involves planning for the longer term and thoughts are already being given to arrangements for the annual staff conference in the Autumn.

It is important that like all staff I keep up to date along with my CMT colleagues with my own management skills.  For this purpose we have over the last couple of years, once a year, spent a half day looking at our own individual skills and how we work as a team and we have been planning this year’s half day which will take place sometime in May or June.

Our health is often something we take for granted until we require treatment.  As we all saw over the winter period there is tremendous pressure on our much valued health and social care services.

Health and social care in the North-east as in other regions of Scotland face significant challenges in relation to the availability of finance and a workforce.  The scale of these challenges is magnified by the size, geography and dispersed population of places like Moray. 

Our population is growing and older population growing in particular.  Our health and social care workforce is also ageing.

Like many public services change needs to take place, as it always has and NHS Grampian has been leading a range of awareness raising activities on the need for change.

In a recent visit to Moray the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian gave a briefing to a range of Elected Members and members of staff involved in the health and social care services in Moray.

As a Senior Management Team we are always looking at new initiatives and new ways of working and having recently met the Chief Executive of the Improvement Service  to share ideas and thoughts on the future of Local Government and public services more generally.  By the time you read this we will also have met with a number of external advisors to sound out what ideas they might have.

It was good to visit the Glasgow School of Art campus at Altyre outside Forres as it goes from strength to strength.  Having completed another successful winter programme involving students from all over the world, work is ongoing to see how this can be expanded all the year round.  The campus not only employs between 20 and 25 people it is also seeing people returning to Moray to study.

I continue to emphasise how important health and safety is and I chaired the quarterly meeting of the Health and Safety Committee.  I am particularly encouraged by the work that is going on at departmental level to continue to promote health and safety.

By the time you have read this the usual monthly cycle of COSLA and SOLACE meetings will have been completed.

The Council Leader and myself attended the six monthly meeting of the Convention of Highlands and Islands which this time was held on the Island of Cumbrae.  It  involved a 10 hour return trip but as ever it is important that Moray continues to have a seat at the top table.

The turf cutting ceremony at RAF Lossiemouth heralding the construction of the facilities which will house the fleet of new Boeing aircraft was unfortunately postponed due to severe weather.  Hopefully I can cover this in a future blog when the ceremony has been rearranged.

Looking ahead it is good to know that it is now officially spring and I am sure everyone is looking forward to the forthcoming spring break.

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