Aberdeen City Council’s new Chief Executive, Valerie Watts, took up her post in the city today.

Mrs Watts joins the City Council from Derry City Council, where she was Chief Executive and Town Clerk.

She has pledged to provide the city with strong corporate leadership and ensure delivery of the best services possible, in line with the City Council’s priorities on pupil attainment, affordable housing, meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people, sustaining the city’s economic future and addressing the challenges of waste management.

She also promised to work hard to muster all of Aberdeen’s wealth of resources and talents to work together for the good of the city.

Mrs Watts said: “I am delighted to be joining Aberdeen City Council at this exciting time in the life of the city.

“This is a period of great challenge for the public sector but also a time of great opportunity.

“Everyone understands that we are facing the tightest squeeze on public spending that almost any of us can remember – but this gives us all the chance to use it as a spur to our imaginations and rise to challenges ahead.

“In the current economic climate, which will be with us for the foreseeable future, we need to be creative in the way we go about our business.

“It is my role as Chief Executive to take responsibility for leading on the priorities which elected members and the people of Aberdeen have set for this organisation – and I intend to bring together all the strengths of this great city to make sure it continues to grow and thrive.

“There are critical projects that need to be delivered in Aberdeen, which people have waited for for a long time.

“Everyone depends on our frontline services, which we must continuously improve to make sure they are of the highest quality possible and meet people’s needs.

“People have high expectations and rightly demand that we maintain our standards where we are already delivering excellence and improve our performance where we need to.

“The citizens of Aberdeen, its many organisations and its businesses all have a huge stake in us delivering on the council’s priorities.

“We need to see pupils attaining to the best of their ability in a 21st century school estate that matches children’s, parents’ and teachers’ aspirations.

“We want the top-quality transport network that a city of this stature deserves and a rejuvenated city centre that everyone can be proud of.

“We require more affordable housing to meet people’s needs, especially our families, and to build up our capacity to deal with the problem of homelessness.

“We need to respond to the changing make-up of our population and provide quality care services to our elderly people, our children and our adults in sensitive and imaginative ways that give them choice and control.

“It is essential that we have cost-effective waste management services that make it easier for people to recycle and which keep costly and polluting landfill to a minimum.

“Under my leadership, this council will maintain its unswerving commitment to provide first-class core services in this city.

“Our dedicated staff will work with the whole range of pubic bodies, voluntary sector organisations, community groups and business and make the most of all the collective skills, assets and resources at our disposal.

“Aberdeen is a city whose vibrant economy has a global reach. I want to make sure that the City Council plays a strong leadership role and does all it can to make the wealth of talent here work for the good of everyone.

“As Chief Executive, I can promise that I will do all that I can to make sure Aberdeen pulls together and operates at full capacity to deliver excellence for the benefit of its own people and for the country as a whole.”

Mrs Watts has more than 25 years’ public sector experience, beginning her career at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where she oversaw competitive tendering and ancillary support services. From Belfast she moved to become Head of Central Contracts with the former Central Regional Council in Stirling, where she had responsibility for over 800 employees and managed a budget of over £30 million.

Following Scottish local government re-organisation in the mid-1990s, Mrs Watts became Head of Facilities Management, Leisure and Environmental Services with East Dunbartonshire Council. In June 2000 she was promoted to Assistant Chief Executive and in 2003 to Director of Corporate Services, with responsibility for five heads of service and a budget of £240 million, covering finance, ICT, human resources and organisational development, corporate services, policy and public affairs, customer relations, internal audit and the council’s call centre.

Valerie has studied part-time for a BA in Management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and has undertaken management training courses at Harvard, MIT University in Boston, and at Berkeley and Stanford Universities in California.

She is married with two children.

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Published On: Tue, Mar 1st, 2011 at 10:12pm

New Chief executive takes the helm

Aberdeen City Council’s new Chief Executive, Valerie Watts, took up her post in the city today.

Mrs Watts joins the City Council from Derry City Council, where she was Chief Executive and Town Clerk.

She has pledged to provide the city with strong corporate leadership and ensure delivery of the best services possible, in line with the City Council’s priorities on pupil attainment, affordable housing, meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people, sustaining the city’s economic future and addressing the challenges of waste management.

She also promised to work hard to muster all of Aberdeen’s wealth of resources and talents to work together for the good of the city.

Mrs Watts said: “I am delighted to be joining Aberdeen City Council at this exciting time in the life of the city.

“This is a period of great challenge for the public sector but also a time of great opportunity.

“Everyone understands that we are facing the tightest squeeze on public spending that almost any of us can remember – but this gives us all the chance to use it as a spur to our imaginations and rise to challenges ahead.

“In the current economic climate, which will be with us for the foreseeable future, we need to be creative in the way we go about our business.

“It is my role as Chief Executive to take responsibility for leading on the priorities which elected members and the people of Aberdeen have set for this organisation – and I intend to bring together all the strengths of this great city to make sure it continues to grow and thrive.

“There are critical projects that need to be delivered in Aberdeen, which people have waited for for a long time.

“Everyone depends on our frontline services, which we must continuously improve to make sure they are of the highest quality possible and meet people’s needs.

“People have high expectations and rightly demand that we maintain our standards where we are already delivering excellence and improve our performance where we need to.

“The citizens of Aberdeen, its many organisations and its businesses all have a huge stake in us delivering on the council’s priorities.

“We need to see pupils attaining to the best of their ability in a 21st century school estate that matches children’s, parents’ and teachers’ aspirations.

“We want the top-quality transport network that a city of this stature deserves and a rejuvenated city centre that everyone can be proud of.

“We require more affordable housing to meet people’s needs, especially our families, and to build up our capacity to deal with the problem of homelessness.

“We need to respond to the changing make-up of our population and provide quality care services to our elderly people, our children and our adults in sensitive and imaginative ways that give them choice and control.

“It is essential that we have cost-effective waste management services that make it easier for people to recycle and which keep costly and polluting landfill to a minimum.

“Under my leadership, this council will maintain its unswerving commitment to provide first-class core services in this city.

“Our dedicated staff will work with the whole range of pubic bodies, voluntary sector organisations, community groups and business and make the most of all the collective skills, assets and resources at our disposal.

“Aberdeen is a city whose vibrant economy has a global reach. I want to make sure that the City Council plays a strong leadership role and does all it can to make the wealth of talent here work for the good of everyone.

“As Chief Executive, I can promise that I will do all that I can to make sure Aberdeen pulls together and operates at full capacity to deliver excellence for the benefit of its own people and for the country as a whole.”

Mrs Watts has more than 25 years’ public sector experience, beginning her career at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where she oversaw competitive tendering and ancillary support services. From Belfast she moved to become Head of Central Contracts with the former Central Regional Council in Stirling, where she had responsibility for over 800 employees and managed a budget of over £30 million.

Following Scottish local government re-organisation in the mid-1990s, Mrs Watts became Head of Facilities Management, Leisure and Environmental Services with East Dunbartonshire Council. In June 2000 she was promoted to Assistant Chief Executive and in 2003 to Director of Corporate Services, with responsibility for five heads of service and a budget of £240 million, covering finance, ICT, human resources and organisational development, corporate services, policy and public affairs, customer relations, internal audit and the council’s call centre.

Valerie has studied part-time for a BA in Management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and has undertaken management training courses at Harvard, MIT University in Boston, and at Berkeley and Stanford Universities in California.

She is married with two children.

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