Council Leadership

Provost of Aberdeenshire - Councillor Hamish Vernal

councillorThe Provost is Aberdeenshire's First Citizen and civic head of Aberdeenshire. This role is wide-ranging, involving all sectors of the local community and representing Aberdeenshire at local, national and international events.

The Provost of Aberdeenshire is keen to attend events and activities taking place across Aberdeenshire or where Aberdeenshire is being promoted outside the area.

For more information about the Provost's role, please click the relevant headings below.



What does civic head mean?

Civic head essentially means our ceremonial head. The Provost is the formal representative of the council and Aberdeenshire when meeting visiting dignitaries, hosting council functions and attending external events.

The Provost will also:

  • promote Aberdeenshire to the wider community through public appearances at social, community, cultural and business events and through the media
  • encourage networks with other organisations in both the private and public sectors to enhance the development of Aberdeenshire
  • recognise special achievements of local people and organisations

Among his many roles, the Provost chairs meetings of the full council which convene at Woodhill House in Aberdeen every six weeks.

The Provost is keen to be invited to projects and activities taking place across Aberdeenshire and welcomes invitations to attend local and regional events.

Any concerns about local services or issues relating to council services should be directed to your local councillor. Details of your local councillor can be found here.

Provost's biography

Born in Dunbartonshire and educated at Vale of Leven Academy, Paisley and Durham University, Hamish Vernal has had a varied career in the education sector.

He worked as a Head Teacher in various schools until 1988 when he joined Grampian Regional Council as an Education Adviser and officer. He then moved on to become Head of Service for Education and Recreation at Aberdeenshire Council and then Director of the Service before retiring in 2005. He then became the Sole Director of Ecosse Educational Management Company until 2012.

He has been a member of Aberdeenshire Council since 2012 and enjoys family time, golf, reading and travel. He lives in Inverurie with his wife, Mo Vernal and has two children, two step children and eight grandchildren.

Deputy Provost's biography

Information to follow

Invite the Provost to your event

The Provost of Aberdeenshire is keen to attend events and activities taking place across Aberdeenshire or where Aberdeenshire is being promoted at events or shows outside the area.

Country shows, charity work, business expansion, new initiatives, staff awards - whatever it is that makes you proud about Aberdeenshire - make sure you invite the Provost to be part of it and celebrate with you.

To invite the Provost to your event, fill out and submit the form below, making sure your response is as detailed as possible.

The Provost's diary is busy and advanced notice increases the chance that the Provost will be available. Please ensure that an invitation is submitted at least six weeks prior to the event.

Request the Provost's attendance at your event

Event planners

Following receipt of an invitation to an event, the Provost's office will review your request and get back to you using the email address listed on the form. All communication related to the event will be channelled through that person.

If the Provost is able to participate in your event, you will be asked to provide the following information. This information will be due no later than ten calendar days prior to the event.

  • Executive briefing
  • Draft speech
  • Guest list

If you plan to have a photographer at the event, please let us know and share the photos with us within a week after the event.


The following points of protocol are designed as a guide for anyone inviting the Provost to an engagement.

  1. Part of the Provost's role is to have a high profile at local, civic and community events and he welcomes invitations to attend such events.
  • Please note however that the Provost has a very busy schedule. While he is keen to attend as many events as possible, he may be unable to attend. If this is the case, every effort will be made for the Deputy Provost to attend.
  • If neither the Provost nor the Deputy Provost can attend, every endeavour will be made to find someone suitable to attend the event.
  1. Please ensure that when the Provost arrives, he is met by an official of the organisation holding the function. He should be introduced to the President, Chair or whoever acts as host, unless he is being introduced to the assembled company immediately.
  2. When greeting the Provost, the formal verbal address to be used is Provost Vernal. He may be accompanied by his wife. If the Deputy Provost is attending, she may be accompanied by her partner.
  3. Please ensure the Provost is introduced to other guests and is not left on his own for the duration of the visit.
  4. Please ensure that appropriate seating is reserved for the Provost and his wife, if she is in attendance. Where the Provost is at the top table his wife should also be seated at the top table, although not necessarily next to him.
  5. The Provost's position is non-political and does not give prominence to any one political party. His position should be respected as such with not attempts made to lobby him. Please refer any issues of concern to Aberdeenshire Council or your ward councillors.
  6. A parking space should be allocated for the Provost's vehicle ahead of his arrival at the venue.

Contact the Provost's office:

To send invitations to the Provost of Aberdeenshire and for further information, please contact the Provost's office.


Provost's Office
c/o Rachel Stanford
Aberdeenshire Council
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
AB16 5GB

Phone: (01224) 665079

Twitter: @provostabdnshre



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