Cascade September 2021

Chief Executive’s Update

Nothing makes me happier than seeing people enjoying success in a job they love, and next month’s Learning Awards will allow us to celebrate just some of the achievements that our friends and colleagues in the council and HSCP have had over the last 18 months.

This is something that makes me extremely proud as chief executive – we are committed to helping people progress their careers and we work hard to build the foundations of our next generation of employees through our successful modern apprenticeship scheme.

One success story of growing our own is Ashleigh Connor from Campbeltown, who has just completed her 4 year apprenticeship to become a fully qualified Heavy Good Vehicle mechanic. You can read all about Ashleigh’s success with the council in this month’s Cascade.

Pippa Milne
Pippa Milne, Chief Executive

Learning awards

I am delighted to announce that the council’s annual Learning Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on 19 November 2021.

This event is a celebration of our colleagues who have achieved a professional, academic or vocational qualification linked to their role, and who have been supported by the Council or the HSCP.

This year’s event, held virtually using Microsoft Teams, will be a joint celebration with colleagues in the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and will recognise a wide variety of achievements such as degrees, SVQs, Argyll and Bute Manager and many more.

The awards will include qualifications achieved in both 19/20 and 20/21, so that those who continued their study during the challenging times of Covid all get the recognition that they deserve.

We look forward to welcoming all our achievers to this event – look out for more information soon!

Jane Fowler
Jane Fowler, Head of Customer Support Services

Social Renewal Campaign

COSLA is appealing to local authorities for short video clips of staff at work which show the diverse range of services that councils deliver.

Clips can be filmed on phones, in landscape, and must be around 20-20 seconds long. Each clip should end with the words “this is local government” being said into the camera.

Clips can be emailed to but, if you submit a clip, please remember to let our own comms team know at so that we can shout about our own fantastic services as well!

Education Climate Change Summit

Schools, voluntary organisations, charities and businesses from across Argyll and Bute will come together next month to host Argyll and Bute Council’s first ever Education Climate Summit.

Linda MacBeath, head teacher at Rhu Primary, is just one of the people who’s been working hard behind the scenes to organise for the event.

She said: “The event is free and will take place online on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 October – a week before COP 26. It will see a range of key speakers joining forces to raise awareness about a variety of climate change issues.

“We have local school children taking part, as well as interesting presentations from a variety of local businesses and organisations. There really is something for everyone. A lot of hard work has gone into the event and I really hope that people sign up to help us all do our bit for the environment.”

To view the programme and sign up, visit:

A hand squashing a plastic bottle

Fergus comes to the rescue

Helensburgh and Lomond Staycation Warden, Fergus Thomson, has one very happy customer after coming to the rescue of a family with car trouble en-route to their caravan at Rosneath.

Donna McClusky was taking her three children to the caravan after picking up a brand new car. However, on the way up Gareloch Hill, the brake calipers seized.

Donna explained: “Next thing I knew we were surrounded by smoke. I pulled into the side, but I was panicking.  My husband was ahead in his car, and I had no signal on my phone. It’s a bad bit of the road, anything could have been coming round the corner.”

Fortunately for Donna and the kids, Fergus was travelling behind them and had smelled the smoke. He immediately stopped and got everyone out of the car safely.

“When I heard his voice saying ‘right guys, get out of the car’, I knew we’d be OK,” said Donna. “He just made the whole situation safe, directing traffic around the car and giving me time to walk until I could find a signal to call my husband and a mechanic. I couldn’t have got through the situation without him – best timing ever.”

Fergus, a former firefighter and teacher, is one of four Staycation Wardens in Argyll and Bute.

Well done Ashleigh!

Congratulations to Ashleigh Conner for completing her four year apprenticeship to become a fully qualified Heavy Good Vehicle mechanic. Ashleigh started with the council in 2017 as an Apprentice Mechanic. After completing her three year college course which she passed with exceptional results, she is now qualified to work on a variety of vehicles from lorries to cars, trailers, diggers, hybrids and horticultural machinery. Ashleigh is also qualified to work on Electric vehicles.

We’re really proud of Ashleigh who is our sixth apprentice and first female to have qualified through the Fleet Support service.

The learning doesn’t stop there – her next project is to become a qualified vehicle tracking engineer. Thank you Ashleigh for your continued enthusiasm and commitment to Argyll and Bute Council.

Ashleigh Conner

Get in touch

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

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