TRIBUTE was paid this week to SIC infrastructure executive director Graham Spall who is taking early retirement today after 37 years with the local authority.
At the infrastructure committee on Tuesday, chairman Allan Wishart praised Mr Spall for presiding over big changes in the way the council operates. He had made the problems look easy and ran his part of the local authority without making a lot of fuss.
He said he had first encountered Mr Spall dressed in a white coat and carrying a measuring jug when he came to check the fuel pump at the Wishart’s shop in Cunningsburgh. At that time he was with trading standards office, having started with the council in 1971, aged 16, in the county clerk’s office.
Mr Spall was a union rep for about 10 years before working his way upwards to the top, behind only the chief executive. During that time he had seen six chief executives and seven conveners. Mr Wishart remarked that Mr Spall’s department had consistently met its budget targets. He stood up to shake Mr Spall’s hand and there was warm applause around the council chamber. Ironically the two men were at loggerheads just a few years ago during the bitter feud between the council and Lerwick Port Authority over the proposed Bressay bridge.
Mr Spall said of his time at the top: “It’s been an absolute privilege. I’ve always thought I had the best job in Shetland.”