Housing and Social Security Stakeholder Group minutes: April 2017

Minutes, agenda and papers of the meeting of the Housing and Social Security Stakeholder Group held on 25 April 2017.

Attendees and apologies


  • Jules Oldham– Homeless Action Scotland
  • Caitlin McCorry – ALACHO
  • Ashley Campbell – CIH Scotland
  • Gillian Evans – SLGP (GCC)
  • Aoife Deery – Shelter Scotland
  • Michael McClements – COSLA
  • Hanna McCulloch – CPAG
  • Emma Sheilds – Renfrewshire Council
  • Sharon McIntyre – Wheatley Group
  • Rob Gowans – CAS
  • Beth Reid – Crisis
  • Moira Couper – Edinburgh City Council
  • David Bookbinder – GWSF
  • Margaret Dymond - Tenants Regional Network
  • John Landon - Tenants Regional Network
  • Laylea Thernier – Disability Agenda Scotland
  • June Deans – SLGP
  • Kirsty McKechnie - CPAG
  • Claudine Johnson - South Ayrshire Council
  • Elaine Bryne - SHN
  • Margery McDowell – Rent Service Scotland
  • Ann-Marie Devlin - NG Homes
  • Tony Cain - ALACHO
  • Nicola Dickie - CoSLA

Scottish Government

  • Owen Griffiths (Chair)
  • Susan Carsley
  • Yvonne Harris
  • Pauline Torley
  • Chris Boyland
  • Nicola Smith

Items and actions

Owen Griffiths welcomed members to the meeting and the minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

Action points from last meeting (14 February 2017)

The November meeting group highlighted the links between the H&SS group and other SG social security stakeholder groups including the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group.

AP: The H&SS group’s remit will be updated to reflect these links.

The group agreed to provide SG with feedback on comments on the latest draft by end March. It was suggested that the guidance should contain references to referrals to advice services and housing options.

AP: Group to provide feedback by end of March

Paper 1: Written Updates

A written paper was circulated to the group prior to the meeting. Owen explained that this approach would be taken going forward.

Owen summarised the content of the written paper which included an update on DHPs and an overview of the purpose and remit of the Experience Panels currently being recruited. Owen then invited comments and questions from the group.

A discussion on the numbers already recruited and the 12th may closing date ensued and Yvonne asked the group to spread the word via group member’s networks.

Owen additionally provided a brief update on the Social Security Consultation which closed in March.

AP: Owen to circulate the consultation analysis report after today’s meeting.

18-21 year olds

Owen gave a bit of background in this area then updated the group on what has been happening on this topic since the last meeting.

Owen then passed over to Nicola Smith to present the written paper on this subject.

Nicola explained that the SWF is being used as a short term solution to the issue. The Community Care Grant (CCG) application process will be used with LAs checking that none of the exemptions listed apply. The group heard that supplementary guidance for LAs was being prepared and would be discussed at a meeting with CoSLA on 27th April. Nicola confirmed that a long-term solution is being sought.

Ashley Simpson of CIH asked when the funding would be made available to LAs. Nicola Smith confirmed that the arrangements for this would be discussed at the meeting on the 27th.

The group discussed how individuals who present to LAs and are entitled to the exemptions will be supported and how the communication between LAs and DWP on these matters will look.

Nicola concluded discussions by asking for the group’s help in promoting the interim solution. The group agreed to do so.

Social Security Bill

Chris Boyland gave a general outline of the Bill and explained that for the next year he would be responsible, as Social Security Legislation Team Leader, for seeing the Bill through Parliament.

Chris talked the group through the process by which the Bill is being compiled and the stages which the Bill would go through in the next year. The group discussed the fact that the specifics on benefits have been left out of primary legislation with some sharing concern at this. Chris explained that the reason for this is that the Bill sets out the machinery through which the Government will provide social security whilst conferring powers on the Government to set out rules for eligibility and entitlement in secondary legislation. With rules changing from time to time to reflect economic changes and to respond to changing circumstances putting these rules in primary legislation would impair the Government’s responsiveness to circumstances, however changes to secondary legislation do not go through the same process.


No further business was discussed.

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place take place in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh on Tuesday 25 July 2017 at 1.30 pm.


Email: owen.griffiths@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Housing and Social Security Collaborative
Scottish Government
Housing, Regeneration and Welfare
Better Homes
Victoria Quay

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