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Secretary: William I. Neish

From 1975 to 1996 Grampian Regional Council was responsible for the delivery of the major local government services – education, roads and transportation, social work, police, fire, water and sewerage, industrial development, strategic planning – to a population of half-a-million in the North-east of Scotland.

The Council was established under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, which introduced a two-tier system of local government with nine Regional

and 53 District Councils, plus three Island Councils replacing the previous 430 local authorities.

Grampian was the third largest of Scotland's regions covering an area of   3400 sq. miles (8700sq. kilometres) embracing the former counties of Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, Kincardine and Moray (except Grantown-on-Spey and the parish of Cromdale) and the City of Aberdeen.

The five District Councils within the Grampian area were the City of Aberdeen, Gordon, Banff and Buchan, Moray and Kincardine and Deeside.

The headquarters of Grampian Regional Council (pictured) were at Woodhill House, Westburn Road, Aberdeen and the authority had more than 23,000 full and part-time employees.

Grampian was the only one of Scotland's nine Regional Councils where the four main political parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party - plus Independents all got their hands on the levers of power during its 21-year history.

The Region had six Conveners (elected heads):

Councillor Sandy Mutch C.B.E., J.P. (Conservative) 1974-82

Councillor John P. Sorrie C.B.E. (Conservative) 1982-86

Councillor Dr Geoffrey Hadley M.B.E. (Independent), 1986-90

Councillor Robert Middleton J.P. (Labour), 1990-94

Councillor Rhona Kemp (Liberal Democrat), 1994-95

Councillor Gordon McDonald (S.N.P.), 1995-96

For its first 12 years the Council was controlled by a Conservative Administration who made a virtue of regularly levying the lowest regional rate in Scotland. The Conservatives won more than half the 53 seats on the Council in the 1974 and 1978 elections. Their majority was reduced in 1982 and in 1986 they lost control  at a time when the Conservative Government in Westminster was highly unpopular in Scotland.

From 1986 to 1990 the Region's Administration was formed by a coalition of Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalists and Independents. From 1990-94 there was a Labour-led Administration in partnership firstly with the Liberal Democrats and later with the SNP.  For the final two years 1994-96 Liberal Democrats and SNP formed the Administration.

The Region had four Chief Executives: John L. Russell O.B.E. (1974-77);

J. Douglas Macnaughton (1977-91); Alan G. Campbell C.B.E. (1991-95); and John C. Liddell (1996).

Grampian was the hub of the North Sea oil and gas industry. The first oil was piped ashore at St Fergus, near Peterhead, in the year of the region's birth.  The Regional Council played an important role in providing the infrastructure required to accommodate the industry.

The region was also noted for the quality of its produce – malt whisky, beef, paper, seafood, cloth and knitwear.

Grampian Regional Council was responsible for:

In 1996 32 single tier authorities replaced Scotland’s Regional and District Councils. In Grampian the unitary councils are Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Woodhill House,    © Colin Walker

Grampian Regional Council