Shetland Islands Council appoints new finance boss

Shetland Islands Council has announced a new executive manager of finance.

Jonathan Belford, who has been working for the SIC for the past 18 months, will take up the post after working recently as acting finance boss.

He replaces Steve Whyte who was also part of a shared finance office deal with Aberdeen City Council which seconded the pair to work with the SIC.

The contract was for a year and was extended for three months to cover the recruitment phase.

Mr Belford has worked in local authorities across the North-east of Scotland since 1991, and has spent the past 17 years at Aberdeen City Council, latterly as corporate accounting manager.

The council advertised for a replacement for Mr Whyte, who was appointed in December 2014, back in January offering a salary banded at £71,169 to £74,738.

Mr Belford is moving to Shetland with his wife, Frieda, leaving their daughter in Aberdeen to continue her education at Robert Gordon’s University.

Mr Belford said: “The past year or so working and living here in Shetland has been a fabulous experience and one that I wanted to continue, so I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take on this role.

“Shetland, the place and its people, the council staff and councillors made the decision to apply more straightforward than I had expected and I now look forward to working with the council and the corporate management team to help them to continue to deliver excellent local authority services in challenging times.”

SIC leader Gary Robinson said he was “absolutely delighted” Mr Belford was taking the full-time post.

He added: “I’m extremely pleased that we have recruited Jonathan to this post. He has already proven his worth in the work he has done since joining us back in 2014.

“This is a particularly challenging role, given the continuing pressures on public finance, and the need to maintain high quality services for our community.”

Mr Robinson said that the arrangement with Aberdeen had worked well for the council but the question had arisen whether an interim post was suitable for such an important position.

Mr Belford’s part-time taster of Shetland had also panned out right in convincing him to move to the isles when recruitment had proved a problem for the council in the past.


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