I have worked for Dundee City Council since 1997. My responsibilities include planning, transportation, economic development, property and estates, architecture, engineering and capital projects.
I am also the lead officer for the Dundee Waterfront Project. This is a £1 billion regeneration of an 8km stretch of riverfront on the River Tay Estuary.
Key targets: My key performance targets are encapsulated in the council’s Single Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Government. I am personally responsible for the successful delivery of outcome one.
Overall the performance indicators aim to ensure that Dundee will be a regional centre with better job opportunities and increased employability for our people.
For instance we have a goal for Dundee to achieve business growth, particularly in key business sectors. In the short term we aim to work towards this by various policies such as maintaining the provision of serviced land and available property to meet business needs and increasing the percentage of jobs in key industry sectors.
My performance is also measured against our commitment to achieving growth in business start-ups. This target has short-term measurable goals of maintaining the number of new businesses receiving start-up assistance and maintaining the overall number of new business start-ups.
Another key goal is our commitment to ensuring that Dundee’s Central Waterfront will underpin the city’s economy. The short-term measurable output for this is ensuring the complete implementation of phase three of the waterfront infrastructure on schedule.
More broadly, I am also required to ensure that the image and perception of the city are improved and that Dundee is a popular tourist destination. We measure progress on these aims by the growth in our business tourism and hits on our marketing websites.
What I’ve learned
In the course of my career I have learnt three key lessons which shape my decision-making.
Never let yourself be constrained by the present. The future is a very different place. Current constraints and obstacles can change quite dramatically so plan for this and be the change you want to see. Anything is possible.
Always strive for quality over quantity. The creation of place should not be driven by numbers. Quality of process and product will always be more critical to a successful outcome. This also applies to your colleagues; a few quality staff are more productive than legions of mediocrity.
Guard your reputation because it is your biggest asset or liability. Strong and trusting working relationships are key to your eventual effectiveness. The world of business still respects people who keep their word and deliver what they say. Such behaviour is usually reciprocated but be wary!