Cascade August 2021

Chief Executive’s update

I’m really proud to work alongside such a fantastic team of colleagues in Argyll and Bute. As I talk to you daily, I continue to be bowled over by the lengths you all go to in delivering our services – often under really difficult circumstances. I can’t thank you enough.

I originally started my podcasts to help keep our employees up-to-date with the work of the council, and to make visible some of the efforts that often go unnoticed. These podcasts are now available on the council website, and promoted more widely. I think it’s important our customers find out more about different aspects of the council. If you have a story you would like to share, or you can suggest a story you would like to hear, please let me know and I will follow that up.

Cases of covid appear to be rising in Argyll and Bute so I would urge you to be cautious and be aware of potential symptoms of covid 19. Look after yourself and others, keep following guidance and test regularly.

Pippa Milne
Pippa Milne, Chief Executive

Be cyber secure

Recently, we carried out an authorised Phishing Exercise, in conjunction with our cyber security partners, Sapphire. You may have spotted emails that looked slightly odd. These were designed to operate in the same way that cyber hackers encourage you to click on a link, which then gives them a way into council systems. When anyone clicked on these test emails, it went into Sapphire’s test system.

Only 4% of people clicked on the links, while 4.3% might be expected to in an organisation this size, so we did slightly better than the industry standard.

Over 70 people followed council policy and reported these suspicious emails to the mailbox – only 3.5% of the emails sent.  Please report suspicious emails to this mailbox. 

Phishing emails are still the main way for malware infections (including ransomware) to get into an organisation.  It can take as little as clicking on a link in an email, sometimes just opening the email, for this process to begin. The results of this can be devastating. 

  • Treat all external emails with caution, especially where they ask you to open documents or click links. 
  • Remember, email accounts can be taken over and entire contacts lists sent an email with a malicious link.  If in doubt you should contact the source by telephone using a number you have
  • If you click a link, never enter your council username and password into any form. 

For more information, please review the council’s Don’t Take The Bait! Campaign, including the NCSC training ‘Stay safe online’ which can be found on the same page.

Yellow swirl reading cyber crim

Make your communications look great

When we’re producing leaflets, posters, factsheets or PowerPoint presentations about our work we want them to look the best they can be.

But since we don’t all have graphic design skills, there are templates available on the Hub.

These templates feature the council’s standard design for promotional literature. The design supports the vision of the council – to make Argyll and Bute a great place to be.

The templates provide you with choice (in terms of colour and style used), but will also promote a consistent ‘look’ for council information.   These templates should be used for all council publications – from reports to posters to leaflets to web pages.

This will increase recognition of council information, and will reduce the amount of time you need to spend on producing leaflets, posters or documents.

If there is a template that we don’t have and that you need, please email and we will do what we can to help.

We also have a great selection of photos in our photo gallery, also on the Hub. If you have any yourself you’d like to share, please send them to and we’ll add them to the gallery.

All the information on how to use the templates, access the photos and use the council brand, can be found on this page.

Council corporate power point slide
Power Point template

When the VIP guest was a goat

Our registrars are used to going the extra mile to make sure couples get the wedding of their dreams, but Heather Cameron, on Jura, was put to the test when she was asked to produce a rather unusual guest of honour – a goat!

Heather explained: “When Neil first got in touch and asked if it would be possible to have a goat at the wedding I thought it was the strangest request I’ve ever had. As luck would have it, my neighbour Angie had a young pet goat, Raymond, and he is very tame. I got in touch with Angie and asked if she would be happy to bring him along.

“Raymond was very well behaved on the day. He was all washed and brushed and even had his bowtie on! Angie acted as one of the witnesses.”

And to keep it in the family, Heather’s photographer husband, Kenneth, took the photos. Add in some spectacular weather that made Jura look like a tropical paradise, and you have an unforgettable day.

“Neil and Corrie were lovely,” said Heather, “and I was glad I was able to give them the perfect wedding day.”

a white goat with flowers round its neck
Raymond, the goat


Our new staff website is a great way of celebrating achievements, sharing news from your service and getting to know colleagues.

There’s also a noticeboard to promote any fundraising or events coming up.

We would love to hear from you. Contact us by emailing

Coins in a glass with green shoots growing out of it
Give us the latest news for the website

Staff Benefit Scheme

We have contracted a company, called Vivup, to run a staff benefits scheme on behalf of the council. This gives our staff access to various schemes such as leisure and retail vouchers and discounts, technology products scheme and cycle to work schemes. Details can be found on MyCouncilWorks.

Home and Electronics are just some of the savings on offer when you sign up.

Thanks to Payroll Pay®, you can spread the cost of your order through manageable salary reductions – with no credit checks!

If you register at  before midnight on 30 September you’ll have a chance to win one of four amazing tech prizes including a pair of Apple Air Pods Pro, a Dyson Airwrap or PlayStation 5. Simply refer a colleague and ask them to enter your email address and theirs at the point of registration.

a blue circle with a list of words
Staff benefits

Thanks to our gorgeous dogs!

Throughout July, we ran our dog fouling campaign and this is a chance to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all the beautiful dogs and their mums and dads who got involved.

Over the four week campaign our message to #makeyourpupproud and #pickitup reached 58,500 on Facebook and well over 3000 people engaged with the posts. The campaign made the local press and the Daily Record, which featured the post about Pepe. We’ve also given out over 100 posters to community councils to remind local people to clean up after their pets.

None of this would have been possible without the help of staff members and friends who told us how they wanted to keep Argyll and Bute clean and beautiful. Thanks to:

Sheila McGugan and Ted; Douglas Bouttell and Robbie; Leanne Rennie and Pepe; Julie Millar and Peggy; Aileen MacLennan and Arlo; Helen Butler and Shadow; Mhairi Weldon and Frankie; Julie Baines and Cooper; Martin Arnold and Dino; Jacqui Stachan and Connie; Julie Brown and Orla; Susie Sinclair and Elvis; Dexter, Bob Miller and Mabel; Julie Hendry and Moose; and Kelly Ferns and Charlie.

a collage of dog photos in the shape of a heart
Our beautiful dogs

Knowing which covid test to take

Getting tested is key to stopping covid 19, even if you have been vaccinated. NHS Highland has created a quick guide as to which test to take.

picture of an LFT covid test
Covid test

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you. If you would like to include an article or say congratulations please email