Buchan Area Manager retires

Chris White with the new Buchan Area Manager Amanda Roe
Chris White with the new Buchan Area Manager Amanda Roe

Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan Area Manager Chris White has retired.

Chris started his career at Gordon District Council on October 28 1985 as an Environment Planner.

In this role Chris helped with the development of the Bennachie Centre at Pitcaple, the Gordon Way, and the popular Riverside pathways in Ellon.

He also worked with the council’s Policy Team and helped to design the layout of housing developments in Newmachar, Kemnay, Oldmeldrum and Huntly.

After the formation of Aberdeenshire Council Chris became the Service Manager for Planning and was based in Banff, however he covered the Buchan area.

In 2000 he became Buchan Area Manager, a role he remained in until his final day on Friday, November 22.

Chris said: “When I started as Area Manager there were major challenges in the fishing industry at the time, there were talks with RAF Buchan regarding its downgrading, and it was announced that Cleveland Twist Drill, Crosse & Blackwell and Peterhead Prison would be closing.

“There was two years of economic downturn and challenges but I think it has traded through really well by diversification through Score, the gas terminal at St Fergus, the redevelopment by Peterhead Port Authority and the potential at Peterhead Power Station.”

Chris admitted that the biggest decision he had to make was closing the various council buildings in Peterhead and constructing Buchan House on St Peter Street, but defended the decision saying: “We have built a future-proof office for the staff here.”

Chris paid tribute to all of the councillors and Buchan Area Committee chairs he has worked with through the years.

He added: “I would like to say thank you to everyone for their support and I hope that I have managed to help a number of individuals who may have found themselves stuck with the council.”

Chris said he had "mixed feelings" about retiring but stated that he would miss “the people” most, adding he would also miss the Buchan Development Forums, planning groups and the day-to-day council staff.

He explained: "I wake up every morning and think about the things that the council is planning to do. The new Peterhead Community Campus is the single biggest challenge the area is facing, and I am desperate to see good indoor facilites in Peterhead."

Amanda Roe will take on the Buchan Area Manager role following Chris’ retirement.

Commenting on her new post she said: “I’m excited but I have a real trepidation, Chris is well-respected and has shown great leadership. However this is a fantastic area and I will be working with a great team.”