Consumer Scotland Data Working Group meeting: June 2021

Minutes and papers from the meeting of the CSDWG, held on 29 June 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Neil Ritchie - Scottish Government (chair)
  • Alessia Morris - Scottish Government (Head of Data for Research)
  • James Walker – Awesome Ninja
  • Chilli Reid – Advice UK
  • Polly Tolley – CAS
  • Debbie Enever – Financial Services Ombudsman
  • Ian McWatt – Food Standards Scotland
  • Rebecca Callaby – Food Standards Scotland
  • Sarah Chisnall – Ombudsman Services
  • Amber Pemberton – The Property Ombudsman
  • Graeme Paton – SCOTSS
  • Julie McCarron – Trading Standards Scotland
  • Anna Savage – Scottish Government (Social Researcher)
  • Jill Rosie - Scottish Government
  • Andrew McConnell - Scottish Government (Secretariat)


  • Pam Stewart - ADS
  • John Munton – Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The chair welcomed the attendees. He explained that a lot had happened since the last meeting of the Group in December 2019. James Walker’s report had been planned as part of a wider package of work including advice, but COVID-19 had prevented it happening. The Consumer Scotland Board will be appointed shortly and a paper will be sent by Scottish Government to it in relation to data .It is appropriate to allow the Board to decide how it wishes to take things forward in relation to data.

Update on Research Data Scotland – Alessia Morris, Head of Data for Research, Scottish Government

Alessia Morris presented a summary of work on developing Research Data Scotland (RDS). The potential benefits in relation to consumer data were recognised by the Group. It was confirmed that although RDS couldn’t commission new data, Consumer Scotland could if it saw a need. It will be for Consumer Scotland to decide on its relationship with RDS, but there was the potential for RDS becoming the main source of data for Consumer Scotland.

Identification of gaps in the Data Strategy Research report in terms of current availability in Scotland

James Walker explained that he had been requested to look at how Consumer Scotland could make use of data in relation to remediation. Therefore the report had focussed on sectors where there was an ombudsman scheme in place. The interviews had been conducted 16 months ago and at the time there had been a requirement for the report to be completed quickly.

A number of attendees explained the data they had available and which could be of use to Consumer Scotland.

Conclusions and next steps

The chair explained that Consumer Scotland will be developing its own workplan. Scottish Government will prepare a paper for the Board, drawing on discussion at this meeting, which highlights the direction of travel in relation to data. Given the change of circumstances since it was commissioned, work on James Walker’s draft report will not be continued.

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