Farewells to Stirling Council chief executive as she leaves her post

Councillors gave their thanks to Carol Beattie who is preparing to leave later this month
Councillors gave their thanks to Carol Beattie who is preparing to leave later this month -Credit:Julie Howden

Glowing tributes have been paid across Stirling Council’s chambers to outgoing chief executive Carol Beattie.

At her last full council meeting before leaving later this month, councillors lined up to thank the authority’s top official for her service - with particular praise for her leadership throughout the Covid pandemic and for being the brains behind the recently announced Stirling Studios.

Provost Elaine Watterson described her as an “absolute pleasure to work with”, adding: “We’ve shared at times a good sense of humour and I’d like to thank you for all the work you’ve done on behalf of Stirling Council and Stirling.”

Council leader Chris Kane said she had played a “key role” in many initiatives and ambitions for the area including the City Region Deal and attracting major events, such as Runrig, the Summer Sessions and last year’s Cycling World Championships.

“I want to put on record as council leader that Carol leaves with our best wishes and our thanks,” he said.

“And while she may always be a Falkirk Bairn at heart, she has also earned the right to be an honorary Daughter of the Rock for all of her hard work and positive contribution to the continuing story of Stirling.”

Conservative group leader Cllr Neil Benny said Carol had led the council through two particularly significant times.

“First of all the Covid crisis. I don’t think any of us fully understand exactly what the leadership role of the chief executive has been over that horrific crisis for our country and the fact that you took that challenge on, head on, and continued with it through the sphere of recovery is something I think you should be rightly proud of.

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“And obviously the duty you have performed for this council and for the people of Stirling following the death of HM The Queen is something I think you would also want to reflect on.

“I would like to wish you well on behalf of the Conservative group in whatever you choose to do in the future and say thank you very much for your service.”

Independent councillor Alasdair Macpherson also spoke of her in glowing terms, saying: “In my 17 years as a councillor she has been head and shoulders...by far the best chief executive I’ve ever had by some distance.

“She is a huge loss to Stirling and I look back at the achievements - absolutely brilliant, dynamic. The film studio was Carol’s idea - and I know people latch onto it for the political side of it - but that was Carol’s idea.”

SNP group leader Scott Farmer told her: “As a former council leader we certainly went through some tough times together and you showed a fortitude and a vision and a leadership that created a team Stirling approach to the crisis that unfolded.

“Firstly there was the Beast from the East which created chaos throughout our communities and we worked as a team across services and across agencies to try and minimise the impact of that.

“But then came the biggest blow, a blow not only to the people of Stirling but the wider Scotland and indeed the globe - the Covid 19 pandemic. And you certainly showed the fortitude and again that team Stirling approach to tackling and mitigating as much as you possibly could.

“That intense pressure also showed that you had a great deal of steel and commitment and resolve and determination to see that crisis through, so on behalf of the people of Stirling I thank you for that. You no doubt saved many lives by the actions you took.”

Green councillor Alasdair Tollemache also wished her well, adding: “I personally would like to thank you for what you did during the pandemic because if we remember March 2020 you had to find a way of getting the council to function in a way we had never had to function before and you have been the main driver in that.

“A personal and political thank you for what you’ve done for Stirling.”