David Comley, former director of housing, is to become the new
acting director of social work and homelessness for Glasgow council
as the authority reshuffles its executive posts.
The set of moves sees Ronnie O’Connor, move from his post
as director of social work to take over the post at education on
the early retirement of Ken Corsar. O’Connor had previously
been senior depute director of education for the council before
being appointed to the social work post in August 1999 amid some
controversy regarding the lack of social work qualified personnel
at executive level in the department.
Comley has driven through radical changes in connection with
services to homeless people, modernisation schemes and the latest
transfer of the housing stock. He is likely to move to his social
work post in the immediate future.
The move is the most profound set of changes in Scotland’s
largest local authority since 1998 when its 21 service departments
were cut to 11 plus a chief executive’s department. It is
said to be the first part of a service review which will see
further changes before the autumn.
The council has given the reasons for the moves as preparation
for the transfer of the city’s 82,000 housing stock to the
independently run Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), as well as
preparation for the Joint Futures agenda in social work and other
changes to education legislation. With the transfer of the housing
stock almost three quarters of existing council housing staff will
move to the GHA. The council does not intend to immediately
advertise the post of director of housing.
In Comley’s absence, Ian Drummond, the solicitor to the
council, will take charge of the transfer of housing stock while
the current depute directors of housing, Margaret Vass and Ian
Elrick, will manage the day-to-day running of the service.
A full-time director of social work is expected to be appointed
before the end of the year. Comley will be free to apply.