Social Work Boss Hits Council with Her Parting Shot

Daily Mail (London), March 28, 1998 | Go to article overview

Social Work Boss Hits Council with Her Parting Shot


Byline: ROBERT FAIRBURN

THE director of Scotland's largest social work department bowed out yesterday by releasing a scathing report on the performance of the service she has led for five years.

Despite being in charge of social work in Glasgow since 1993, Mary Hartnoll admitted that social workers had intervened in people's lives ineffectually and had helped to create a costly dependency culture.

But last night - as the contents of her dossier on the weaknesses of the department became known - critics asked why the [pounds sterling]86,000a-year former Strathclyde boss did not implement changes during her tenure.

Miss Hartnoll, 59, who has taken early retirement, has had a controversial term of office at times. She came under fire when her department overspent its budget by [pounds sterling]5 million and absentee levels reached double the council average. She then had to admit that she did not know how many employees were under her wing.

She also stirred controversy by suggesting Ecstasy was no more dangerous than aspirin.

In her report, Social Work, The Case for Glasgow - written six weeks ago before she decided to retire, she says - Miss Hartnoll said her profession had played a part in reinforcing the social problems which the Government was now trying to tackle.

Last night Glasgow Councillor John Young said: 'I am not criticising her for coming out and saying these things but it would have been helpful i f she had brought these concerns to the attention of the social work committee far earlier than now.

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