Fred McBride appointed as Aberdeen’s head of social care

An official who commissioned an investigation into the death of toddler Brandon Muir in Dundee has been appointed to Aberdeen City Council’s new social work director post.

The Granite City local authority announced last night that Fred McBride, 48, would take up this summer the £107,000-a-year director of social care and wellbeing position.

This post was created by council chief executive Sue Bruce as part of a long-awaited management shake-up at the authority.

Mr McBride served as head of children’s services at Dundee City Council for the past four years.

He also chaired Dundee children and young persons’ protection committee which commissioned an independent review of potential child protection issues following the death of Brandon Muir last year.

He takes over from interim director Philip Cotterill, who was brought in as a troubleshooter last summer to overhaul the department following two highly-critical government reports from the Social Work Inspection Agency and HM Inspectorate of Education.

Following his appointment last night, Mr McBride said: “This move is an exciting opportunity for me and I look forward to taking up this role at Aberdeen City Council.

“I am impressed with the progress made to date and look forward to building on this good work.

“I will be working closely with council officers and elected members and I am convinced that, together, we will drive forward change and build a first-class social care and wellbeing service.”

Mrs Bruce added: “I am delighted to welcome him to Aberdeen City Council and look forward to working with him.

“His skills and experience will be an asset to the council as the new structure takes shape.”

Mr McBride, who is married with two grown-up sons, graduated from Dundee University with a degree in history and social administration in 1983, before taking his first social work job at the Aberlour Trust.

In 1998 he became head of children and families at Stirling Council before becoming head of children’s services at Dundee City Council in 2005.

Councillor Kevin Stewart, convener of the panel who selected Mr McBride, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we were able to make such an excellent appointment after a rigorous selection process.”

Opposition Labour group secretary Willie Young added: “The appointment of a social work director is long overdue but we think Fred has all the attributes to help put Aberdeen social work back on the map.”

Robert Cunningham, boyfriend of 23-month-old Brandon Muir’s mother, was found guilty of his culpable homicide in March but is appealing the conviction.