Michael Leadbetter: A tribute

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Monday April 20, 2009

ADASS President John Dixon spoke today of his deep sadness at the news of the death of former ADSS President Mike Leadbetter. He said: Mike was a man of enormous personal charm who enlivened every debate and discussion he held with a tremendously sensitive understanding of people and events, and a unique and very true wit.

His long battle against cancer and his struggle against his failing eyesight in the past few years has been a moving testimony, to all who knew him, to his amazing vivacity and personal strength.


He was President of the former Association of Directors of Social Services from October 2001 until October 2002, and led the Association valiantly through much of the furore created by the death of Victoria Climbie. At a time when the social work profession and Mike was very much a social worker was being seriously criticised, his leadership and good humour acted as very strong antidotes to the prevailing spirit of the time.


"Following his retirement he dedicated himself with typical energy to a number of important national organisations and initiatives. Our thoughts and concerns are with his wife Pam, their two sons of whom he was extraordinarily proud, and to everyone who knew him. For all of us his death will be a deep, personal loss.