Actions and Detail Panel
Resilience: Developing Responses to Welfare Reform - Citizen Advice Scotla...
Thu 16 March 2017, 09:30 – 15:30 GMT
In the wake of austerity and increasing uncertainty on the horizon, what does resilience mean for Scotland’s citizens and communities? What role does government, the third sector and private companies have to play in preventing crises before they hit? And what can be done at a local level to mitigate the impact of welfare reform?
Citizens Advice Scotland presents a conference to bring together those involved in welfare reform mitigation at a local and national level including government, third sector and private sector to discuss and develop partnerships and policy solutions which enhance resilience amongst Scottish communities and citizens. Covering a broad range of issues including financial services, food security, energy and housing, delegates will hear from a panel of experts and will have the opportunity to explore interventions that can be made in these diverse policy areas to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform.
Welcome and introduction:
Anne Lavery Acting Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland
Sue Irving Chief Executive Officer, Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service
Rev Sally Foster-Fulton - Christian Aid Scotland
Professor Douglas Robertson - University of Stirling
James Jopling – Samaritans
Satwat Rehman – One Parent Families Scotland
Sally Witcher – Inclusion Scotland (TBC)
Michael Gray - Politics journalist, Common Space and The National
Breakout sessions: Working for Change
Eradicating fuel poverty in Scotland: Achieving affordable warmth for all
A range of policies, legislation and programmes at all levels of government are geared towards tackling fuel poverty. Nevertheless, the statutory target for eradicating fuel poverty in Scotland by November 2016 was missed. With a third of Scottish households continuing to live in fuel poverty, and the situation far worse in many rural locations, the scale of the challenge is clear. A number of actions will need to be taken if we are to find effective solutions to the problem of cold, damp and expensive to heat homes. This workshop will explore the opportunities and challenges in energy policy, and how best Scottish citizens and consumers can be supported to take control of their energy supply and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Housing and social security: keeping people’s heads above a tidal wave of change
The last five years has seen ‘tidal wave of change’ including changes to Local Housing Allowance for people under 35, the increase in benefit sanctions and the infamous Bedroom Tax. These changes have led CAB across Scotland to see an increase in rent arrears and have threatened to increase homelessness. Now, a second tidal wave of change poses new challenges to the support tenants receive to help them pay the rent. What lies ahead for all involved in housing? What can the housing sector, landlords, advice and support agencies, government and tenants do to keep people’s heads above the waves? And how can we work together to build resilience in the face of the change to come?
Jeremy Hewar Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Ashley Campbell Chartered Institute for Housing
Owen Griffiths Scottish Government
Aoife Deery Shelter Scotland (TBC)
The Value of Advice: mitigating welfare reform through independent advice
Since 2011, the demand for advice at citizens advice bureaux has increased by 13% while benefits-related advice has increased by 19%. Scottish CAB now provide advice on 930 new benefit and tax credit issues on behalf of clients every working day. This workshop will be an opportunity to explore the role of communities in advice and empowerment, and to consider how advice can be built into the new Social Security System in Scotland.
Responses to food poverty: Dignity, Fair Food and A Menu for Change
The upcoming Good Food Nation Bill has the potential to deliver real change in the food system. This discussion focusses on how we can ensure that everyone is able to access food with dignity, and includes an overview of the new Menu for Change project, a new partnership project across Oxfam, CPAG , Poverty Alliance and Nourish which will seek to reduce the need for and reliance on emergency food aid.
Fiona McHardy Poverty Alliance – Research and Information Manager
Chelsea Marshall Nourish Scotland – Food Justice Team
Rhiannon Sims Citizens Advice Scotland – Policy Officer
Breakout sessions: Partnerships, projects and local policy work
Partnership approach to reducing food bank dependency in East Ayrshire
Building on previous successful partnership work with East Ayrshire CVO, the NHS and local food banks, East Ayrshire CAB present a project aimed at addressing the underlying causes of food bank referrals and reducing the dependency on food bank services in the area.
Sarah Hammond Manager of East Ayrshire CAB
Linda Tudhope Project worker East Ayrshire CAB
Caroline Scott East Ayrshire CVO
Popping up around Fife
Citizens Advice and Rights Fife’s pop-up clinics complement the existing core service by meeting demands in areas which have high numbers of benefits clients and providing vital advice on social security to clients in the most deprived areas of Fife. Partnership working with third sector and statutory organisations is paramount to ensure clients receive holistic services. Popping up at Job Clubs, Events and Community Centres ensures greater access for hard to reach groups. Over 6,000 clients and in excess of £800,000 in financial gain has been achieved since the implementation of the Pop-up clinics in September 2013 and this is expected to rise in the years ahead.
Norma Philpott Citizens Advice and Rights Fife
Myrian Lazo Citizens Advice and Rights Fife
Universal Credit – the winners and the losers
’Full Service’ Universal Credit has been in place in East Lothian since March 2016. Government impact assessments have shown which households are set to gain and which are set to lose income under Universal Credit, but Musselburgh and Haddington CAB wanted to find out more about the real winners and losers under this new system. This workshop will look at the interim findings of their research project, and consider what the impact of Universal Credit will be as we begin to see it rolled-out across Scotland.
Sarah Baldry Musselburgh CAB
09.30am to 3:30pm - 16th March 2017
This event is free to attend.