Making a difference

Happy New Year to you all. I’m never sure when we stop saying that to each other but as this is my first update of 2023, I would like to wish you good things in the year ahead.

And to start on a positive note – everyone needs and uses council services. The work we do together every day matters, it makes a difference. And last year showed that so often we achieve great things for our communities. My recent podcast conversation with Head Teacher David Mitchell and Principal Teacher Paul Gallanagh of Dunoon Grammar School – the best school in the world! – is a reminder of that.

At the same time I know that this year already brings concerns for employees affected by proposals to bridge the council’s £13 million+ funding gap. Initial proposals will go to a special meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee next week.

We do our best to minimise the impact on our communities and employees but unfortunately that gets harder and harder each year. No decisions will be made until the budget-setting meeting on 23 February, and between now and then we have work to do to identify more savings options. You can find out more on our website.

If you are affected, please remember that the employee assistance service is there to help with worries about a wide range of issues. It’s free and completely confidential.

I will keep you up-to-date with progress about the budget, my change programme, and other matters as they come up. If there are any specific topics you’d like to hear about in my weekly updates, you are welcome to contact me at

I hope you have a good weekend.