In recent decades budgets for local authorities have become tighter and public services have become more-and-more stretched.
And, after almost a quarter of a century at the helm of Tayside Contracts, Iain Waddell has a better understanding of these challenges than most.
The managing director is preparing to bow out after clocking up 24 years heading up the firm, which is owned by all three Tayside councils.
When he first took over the reins in February 1996, his remit included roads, catering and cleaning in the education sector.
But this has since expanded to include janitors and school crossing patrols, and even making preparations for a mass outbreak of coronavirus.
However as their work has expanded, their resources have stayed the same or even reduced – nowhere is that more evident than when dealing with roads during the winter months.
He said: “We used to have 150 people employed in the roads department, now we have only 60.
“However we still have to cover the same area. There used to be two people on each plough but now there can only be one.
“Technology has advanced which allows us to do this but the drivers still face the same challenges.
“They are first out on the roads and they are the ones sometimes having to find the road surface in deep snow to clear.”
The biggest challenge, Mr Waddell said, is living up to the public’s expectations, many of whom still expect the same services despite shrinking budgets.
He added: “We get complaints if we do and complaints if we don’t. Among the challenges we come across is that the temperature in the more far flung areas the region can drop several degrees within a few miles.
“For example we had a 6C between Blairgowrie and Dunkeld – and they are only 13 miles apart.
“Going forward there is no doubt that dropping budgets are our biggest issue yet people still expect the same frontline services they have always had.”
Mr Waddell, who has worked in local government in various capacities for 44 years, said that one of his proudest achievements was helping to set up the Roads Surface Treatments Association, an organisation made up of 80 public and private organisations.
He will step down in May.