Retiring Highland Council Chief Steve Barron pays tribute to staff
13th November 2018
At his last official function The Highland Council's retiring CEX Steve Barron has paid tribute to two members of staff for their outstanding work.
During The Highland Council's Quality Awards event, held last Thursday in Inverness Town House, he took the opportunity to present a special commendation award to the Council's Project Co-ordinator for War Memorials Alf Leslie.
Before inviting Alf onto the stage to collect his certificate Steve Barron said: "The timing of our event is ideal to allow us to pay tribute to some brilliant work done in a 3 year project to restore 121 war memorials across the Highlands in a mark of respect for those who lost their lives serving their country in the Great War.
"Alf Leslie and Hugh Gardner have worked tirelessly to ensure that these powerful symbols of the past have been restored to their original condition. The work has been challenging both technically and in terms of funding. It has required patience, determination and sensitivity but the results are truly amazing. Alf has given his heart to this work and is a worthy recipient of this special award. As Hugh says these memorials were built out of love and have stood for the last 100 years. This project will ensure they are standing for the next 100 years."
He then went on to give a personal tribute to the Council’s Head of Development and Regeneration Allan Maguire who, over a long career has improved the lives and circumstances of at least 20,000 families.
Since joining Highland Council in 2001 Allan has developed the Estates section and the Housing Development team and taken the lead on forging strong partnerships including setting up Housing Development Forums, the Housing HUB and Apprentice Schemes.
He has also lead on the establishment of the Landbank Fund and secured grants to establish Infrastructure Loan Fund. In Allan’s tenure the Highlands have secured over £400m of Scottish Government grant delivering over 5,500 new affordable homes including over 1,000 new Council Houses.
Steve then went on to highlight some of the recent Highland housing projects Allan has worked on including;
the Blar Mor site in Fort William - a major site up to 250 homes + Hospital and STEM centre
Midmills - 31 Council flats; 53 flats by McCarthy and Stone ; 40 studios for artists
Stratton - securing site for 150 houses + primary School and enabling improvements to Barn Church Road
Raining’s Stairs – 10 flats for mid market rent and 6 for Council rent.
Before presenting a very surprised Allan with a special Lifetime Achievement Award, Steve said: "In a career starting in London, for the last 17 years Allan has worked in the Highlands and shown true professionalism, ingenuity, creativity and dedication. The quality and volume of his work in delivering housing projects which have transformed the lives and opportunities of young families is quite incredible."
Photo - CEX Steve Barron pictured presenting Alf Leslie with his special commendation certificate - right STV News Presenter Norman MacLeod who compered the evening.