Aberdeen City Council chief avoids Marischal College for nearly 500 days


THE CHIEF Executive of Aberdeen City Council went nearly 500 days without stepping foot inside Marischal College during, and after, the CV19 pandemic.

The new figures, revealed by the Press & Journal, show Angela Scott didn’t work in the office at all from April 2020 until August 2021, despite a number of other senior staff routinely working in the city centre building.

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As the pandemic wound down, Scott barely worked a quarter of her days (27.2%) from Marischal College, between April 2021 and March 2022.

The council boss, who lives in Dundee, worked more than 75% of her days in March 2020 from the Aberdeen office, a number she’s yet to replicate in the years that have followed.

Scott worked 59% of her days from the building between April 2022 and March 2023, while that has dropped to 53.4% between March 2023 and October 2023.

The P&J’s data is based off of the number of days card swipes were used, per month, to access Marischal College.

A spokeswoman for the chief executive defended Scott’s absence from office working. She said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, this practice was in line with the Scottish Government guidelines and restrictions, including those in Aberdeen and her home city of Dundee; with working patterns being adjusted accordingly.”

How does her attendance compare to that of other council bosses?

Scott’s attendance is routinely below the average of other Granite City senior management staff.

She was the only member of senior management to record a 0% attendance rate between April 2020 and March 2021, albeit most other senior members of staff were in the office less than 10% of the time.

Her 27.2% attendance in 2021/22 was 10% below the average of senior council staff and, while it rises to 59% the following year, it remains below average (63.8%).

The latest figures available, from April to October 2023, show Scott just about attends the office on half of her working days (53.4%), however, this is significantly less than the average of 80.2% among her colleagues.

A spokeswoman for the local authority says the current work from home rules are under review.

She said: “Arrangements are managed with a focus on the needs of the role, the specific services and our communities.

“Flexible working has always been available to all council staff, where appropriate, with many working from home or other locations – including alongside our partners – for a proportion of their time prior to the pandemic.

“This also forms part of our legal obligations to consider flexible working requests.

“In line with this, we are further developing working practices which allow staff to work in the most suitable location and at the appropriate times to meet the needs of citizens at all times.”

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