Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group minutes: December 2022

Minutes of the group meeting held on 8 December 2022.

Attendees and apologies


  • Angela O'Hagan (AOH)


  • Joe Chalmers (JC)
  • Naomi Clark (NC)


  • Maggie Page (MP)
  • Alice Burling-Brown (ABB)


  • Rob Priestley (RP)
  • Ben Walsh (BW)
  • David Holmes (DH)
  • Joanne Briggs (JB)
  • Sara Cowan (SC)
  • Joanna Anderson (JA)
  • Emma Congreve (EC)


  • Julia McCombie (JMc), Scottish Government
  • Jacqueline Farmer (JF), Audit Scotland
  • Jillian Matthew (JM), Audit Scotland


  • Elisabeth Campbell (ECa)
  • Jamie MacDougall (JMac)
  • Fiona Page (FP)
  • Simon Wakefield (SW)
  • Tom Lamplugh (SG)
  • Emma Congreve (EC)
  • Kenny Stewart (KS)
  • Alison Hosie (AH)

Items and actions


AOH welcomed the group and the speakers and outlined the purpose of the meeting.

Presentation on drug deaths

The Drug Deaths Policy Team within the Scottish Government presented a PowerPoint outlining the statistics and demographics of drug deaths within Scotland, going on to further explain the future plans as lined out in the Drug Deaths Taskforce Report. Their overarching vision is to reduce drug deaths in Scotland.

Further information relating to budget and funding was outlined in the presentation which made reference to the National Mission on Drugs Annual Report as well as the six cross-cutting priorities which were: lived experience at heart; equalities and human rights; tackle stigma; surveillance and data informed; resilient and skilled workforce; and psychologically informed.

Questions following the presentation on drug deaths

Due to timing constraints there was not enough time to have a full question and answer session, however there were questions on the national mission report as well as the gender analysis specifically the rising proportion of woman being affected by drug deaths. The presentation has been circulated to the Group for additional comments or questions. The Drug Deaths team will be invited back to a future meeting later in 2023.

Any other business

Update from Scottish Government

BW provided an update on timelines and updates from the Deputy First Minister. It was noted that the budget was due to be published on the 15 December 2022. The Deputy First Minister had met with organisations over the previous week to discuss budget plans, including Scottish Woman’s Budget Group and Engender, along with others. It was also outlined that the three priorities/pillars? of the budget would be; tackling child poverty; building an economy to support just transition; and transition to net zero.

RP gave an update on the preparations for the Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement, noting it appeared that that analysis across the organisation had significantly improved compared to the previous statement. It was also the intention to reintroduce previous annexes into the statement which provide information on the process. It was also confirmed that portfolio teams were being asked to explain in the templates how equality and human rights have influenced their budget decisions.

2023 workplan

The Workplan was agreed by members ahead of the meeting.

The next meeting for the Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group is scheduled for 26 January 2023.



Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Equality and Budget Advisory Group
Scottish Government
Mainstreaming and Strategy Unit
Area 3H North
Victoria Quay

Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group

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