Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Alistair’s quarter century marked

Alistair’s quarter century marked
11 October 2017

Tribute has been paid to Chief Executive Alistair Buchan’s 25 years of service with Orkney Islands Council.

Chief Executive Alistair Buchan with the three former Conveners he has served with – Hugh Halcro-Johnston, Stephen Hagan and Steven Heddle – and current Convener Harvey Johnston and Leader James Stockan.

Chief executive Alistair Buchan with the three former Conveners he has served with – Hugh Halcro-Johnston, Stephen Hagan and Steven Heddle – and current Convener Harvey Johnston and Leader James Stockan.

Speaking at the start of a meeting of the Full Council, Convener Harvey Johnson said Mr Buchan’s quarter of a century with OIC represented a rare – if not unique – milestone for any local authority or public body.

Mr Buchan’s career in local government began in 1988 as a personnel officer with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western Isles Council.

He joined OIC in 1992 and, five years later, was appointed as Chief Executive.

“At the time, he was Scotland’s youngest chief executive of an all-purpose council,” Councillor Johnston said. “That is a record that has never been broken.

“Now in 2017 he is the longest serving Chief Executive in Scotland. That is a record that is unlikely ever to be broken.”

The Convener added: “Alistair’s achievement is particularly worth celebrating as we live in a time when employment has become much more transient than it was in days of yore.

“Councils are by their very nature transient affairs – councils come and go, councillors come and go, staff come and go. So this Council has much to be grateful for over Alistair’s quarter century tenure.

“All organisations – businesses and public bodies – benefit greatly from a good, solid central pivot, a king pin, round which their world rotates. Alistair has been that king pin.

“Orkney Islands Council – in fact all of Orkney – has been fortunate to have had Alistair’s wise counsel and the continuity and stability that it has brought over the last twenty five years. A quarter century of unprecedented prosperity for Orkney, for which Alistair has played a significant part – and for which he can be justifiably proud.”

In 2014, Mr Buchan was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Responding, Mr Buchan thanked the Convener for his ‘kind words’, adding: “It is a great privilege to serve Orkney Islands Council.”