New Aberdeen City Council chief executive starts job

Valerie Watts Valerie Watts left Derry City Council to take up her new post in Aberdeen

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Aberdeen City Council's new chief executive has started her first day in the job.

Valerie Watts - formerly town clerk and chief executive of Derry City Council - replaces Sue Bruce, who now works for Edinburgh City Council.

Mrs Watts has pledged to provide strong leadership and deliver the best possible services.

She arrives as Aberdeen City Council looks to cut £127m from its spending over the next five years.

Mrs Watts said: "I am delighted to be joining Aberdeen City Council at this exciting time in the life of the city. This is a period of great challenge for the public sector but also a time of great opportunity.

"Everyone understands that we are facing the tightest squeeze on public spending that almost any of us can remember - but this gives us all the chance to use it as a spur to our imaginations and rise to challenges ahead.

"There are critical projects that need to be delivered in Aberdeen, which people have waited for for a long time."

'Outstanding candidate'

Mrs Watts, who is married with two children, was Derry City Council's first female chief executive.

Her predecessor Sue Bruce had replaced Douglas Paterson in Aberdeen in 2008 after he took early retirement.

Council leader John Stewart earlier said: "We are absolutely delighted to have chosen Valerie, following a rigorous nationwide recruitment programme.

"Valerie was the outstanding candidate in a very high-calibre field."

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