Tuesday 11 February 2020

In this week's Meet the Member we speak to Douglas Mathers, Finance Officer at South Lanarkshire Council and member of the ALARM Scotland Branch Committee.

What is your role and what are your main responsibilities? 

I feel a bit like a line from a Deacon Blue song: “he’s a worker for the Council, has been 30 years". For the last 24 years, since Scottish Local Government Reorganisation in 1996, I have worked in South Lanarkshire Council’s Risk Management Team, and am now in the role of Finance Officer. 

My main roles include assisting the Council’s Resources to embed risk management throughout their services, procurement of insurance policies for the Council, monitoring the Council’s self-insurance fund; and providing support and guidance to Resources on insured and uninsured risks faced by the Council. 

How long have you been an ALARM member? 

Since it came into being in April 1996, South Lanarkshire Council have been members of ALARM. It was around the early 2000’s that I started to attend ALARM Scotland Branch seminars. Over the last couple of years I have been a buddy for the Scottish region, welcoming new members to ALARM, and acting as a point of contact. 

How long have you been an ALARM committee member? 

I have been on the ALARM Scotland Branch Committee for five years now having been persuaded, probably after a few beverages, into joining the Committee by the then Chair, David Johnston. This year I have the taken on the role of the Vice Chair, assisting our new Chair, Fiona Miller of Police Scotland.   

I hope that we are able to continue the great work done by the outgoing Chair, Karen Locke, and that we keep on delivering sessions that our members find very informative and thought provoking.  

What made you want to join the Scotland committee? 

After being a delegate at a number of events over the years, I wanted to give back some of my time to assist the Committee in the preparation and running of events. I felt that it was also a good opportunity to contribute my views on topics that would be of interest to our members. 

What is involved in being a committee member? 

Initially I was involved in the setting up of venues for events, assisting with the registration of delegates, and answering any queries that arose.   

More recently I have been involved in shaping the agenda of the risk and insurance seminar, identifying topics, and have been approaching ALARM sponsors asking for their assistance by providing speakers. The sponsors have been a great help to me and are always willing to assist where they can.   

What do you get out of being an ALARM committee member? 

I have developed a great network of contacts throughout the Scottish region, both in other local authorities and with sponsors. This is very beneficial. In Scotland we all tend to face similar risks and challenges, and it is good to share experiences, or seek advice from someone who has already has faced the same issues as yourself.     

What would you say to any members considering joining an ALARM committee or focus group? 

I would fully encourage anyone who is willing to join a committee to do it. Apart from looking good on your CV, it is a very rewarding role; and you are able to influence the future content of events in your region.  

If you are interested in joining an ALARM focus group or committee, please contact the ALARM Office

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