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CBE for Buchan

Alistair Buchan

FORMER Shetland Islands Council chief executive Alistair Buchan has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for 2014.

Buchan spent two years at the helm of Shetland’s local authority between 2010 and 2012 on secondment from Orkney. Aside from his two year spell in the islands he has been Orkney Islands Council’s chief executive since 1997.

The CBE (Commander of the order of the British Empire) has been awarded to Buchan for his services to local government, which began in 1988 in the western isles.

Buchan said he owed his career to the three islands’ councils but “especially to Orkney for the immense privilege it has been to hold a chief executive’s job in my homeland”.

“It is my great fortune to have known many fin people throughout my life who have given me wise advice and the most generous support,” he said. “I have a deep sense of gratitude in accepting this honour, not for me but for them.”

Buchan was drafted in to push through the SIC’s improvement programme amid the huge fallout from David Clark’s troubled tenure as chief executive, shortly after the Accounts Commission’s public hearing described the local authority as “poorly led and badly divided”.

When he handed over the reins to Mark Boden in 2012 Buchan spoke of “dramatic progress” in getting the council back on the “right track”.

At the time council convener Malcolm Bell said it would have been “easy to forget just how difficult things were” in 2010. He said “much of the credit” for restoring stability lay with Buchan.

Alistair Buchan pictured outside the SIC's North Ness HQ during his stint as chief executive.

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