Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 12:27 UK

Troubled council names new boss

Sue Bruce
Ms Bruce was previously chief executive of East Dunbartonshire

Aberdeen City Council has appointed its new chief executive.

Sue Bruce, who currently holds the same post at East Dunbartonshire Council, has worked in local government for 28 years.

She has experience in social work and education, which both came in for criticism in an Accounts Commission report into Aberdeen council.

The local authority is 50m in debt, and has said that cuts, including redundancies, will have to be made.

Ms Bruce replaces Douglas Paterson, who announced in May he was taking early retirement as a probe was launched into the council's finances.

Robert Coomber had been serving as interim chief executive until a permanent successor was found.

Some of the services in Aberdeen are among the best in Scotland. I am quite confident this situation can be turned around
Robert Coomber
Interim chief executive

The council has been told by consultants that redundancies will have to be made to meet the 49.7m of savings required, leading to several months of public protests.

But speaking to the media as Ms Bruce's appointment was announced, Mr Coomber insisted the council's problems were "unusual but not extraordinary".

He said he was "confident" the local authority could meet its savings target, but added that it may take longer than the current financial year to do so.

Mr Coomber added: "It is public knowledge that there is a significant level of risk about whether savings can be achieved in the current financial year.

"Aberdeen has got some problems, and one or two came out at the same time, which led to a lack of public confidence.

"But some of the services in Aberdeen are among the best in Scotland. I am quite confident this situation can be turned around."

Earlier, the council's deputy leader Kevin Stewart praised Mr Coomber, as well as the new chief executive.

He said: "She will bring a wealth of experience of local government."


SEE ALSO
Council's chief executive departs
13 Aug 08 |  North East/N Isles
Council's interim chief revealed
07 Aug 08 |  North East/N Isles
Hundreds planning to quit council
30 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Five in running for council post
29 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Expert council crisis group meets
25 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Petition to call for leader to go
24 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Council leader not standing down
18 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Chief executive stands down early
13 May 08 |  North East/N Isles

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