Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel minutes: February 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel held in February 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Ann Loughrey AL -
  • Norrie Kerr NK Energy Action Scotland (EAS)
  • Steve Bell SB NHS Health Scotland
  • Nicola Dickie ND COSLA
  • Lawrence Slade LS Energy UK
  • Peter Kelly PK The Poverty Alliance
  • Sarah Boyack SB Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA)
  • Craig Salter CS Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)
  • Stewart Wilson SW Tighean Innse Gall (TIG)


  • Kate Morrison KM Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)
  • John Blackwood JB Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL)
  • Donna Burnett DB NHS Health Scotland

Scottish Government officials present

  • Saskia Kearns SK
  • Ann McKenzie AMcK
  • Angus Macleod AMac
  • Silvia Palombi SP

Items and actions

1. Welcome

  • The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and read out a quote from the Minister for Local Government & Housing endorsing the future work of the new group.
  • Members introduced themselves in turn to the Advisory Panel, highlighting any relevant experience. The Chair also thanked NK for accepting the position of Deputy Chair of both the new Advisory Panel and Partnership Forum.

2. Overview – Advisory Panel & Partnership Forum

  • AL handed over to AMcK to provide a brief overview of the new Advisory Panel and Partnership Forum, according to: the background to their formation; the current policy context relevant to the work of each group; and their Terms of Reference (ToR).
  • Members were invited to comment on the current draft of the ToR as issued – it was agreed that a revised version would be circulated taking account of comments, for sign off at the second meeting of the Advisory Panel in April.

3. Advisory Panel Work-plan – Year 1

3.1. Feedback from consultation events

  • To help inform the Advisory Panel’s discussion regarding its priorities for work during its first year of operations, AL invited AMcK to provide a short summary of feedback received during the Scottish Government’s open consultation events delivered between November 2017 and January 2018. Members were invited to note that a common theme emerging was a focus on ‘monitoring and evaluation’ of progress made the Scottish Government towards tackling fuel poverty, and reporting of such.

3.2. Open floor discussion

  • AL reminded the Advisory Panel in the context of the upcoming discussion on its Year 1 work-plan priorities to be mindful of the key focus being on ‘people’ and understanding the impacts or outcomes of any new strategy or actions on them.

  • It was proposed that the Advisory Panel adopt 3 key priorities, namely:

  • Informing development of the relevant legislation, in order to reduce the risk of it being heavily criticised during the Parliamentary scrutiny phase;

  • Informing the identification and scrutiny of lessons learnt from the HEEPS end-of-year evaluation process – to help inform development of SEEP and how it will report on “people issues”, to shape the programme evaluation and reporting mechanisms in place; and
  • Support the development of a new “doorstep tool” referred to in the fuel poverty consultation, to ensure it is “easily explained” to people, linked to the Definition Review Panel’s recommendations, and drawing on expert advice.

  • AL summarised the discussion, indicating Members agreement to immediately prioritise reviewing the consultation responses, and analysis received by government, and providing comments back to government.

  • AL further emphasised that the Advisory Panel is independent of government, and so will criticise (or endorse, as appropriate) the policy as it develops if it feels it important to do so, fulfilling its role as a “critical friend” to Ministers.

4. AOB

  • AL indicated the next meeting of the Advisory Panel will be 18 April, in Glasgow.
  • SP highlighted that the SHCS Users Day is coming up and that an appropriate Member of the group will be invited separately in order to inform discussions.
  • AL thanked members for their participation in the first meeting of the new Advisory Panel, reiterating that the group’s ultimate focus will be solely on reducing fuel poverty levels.
Action Assigned to
1 To summarise suggested amendments to the draft ToR as discussed, and circulate a revised version to Members for consideration. Secretariat
2 To collate and circulate Members’ comments on Year 1 work-plan priorities, as discussed, ahead of the next meeting of the Advisory Panel on 18 April. Secretariat
3 To draft a timeline of policy and the relevant legislation process being led by Scottish Government, including an indication of the timings of opportunities for the Advisory Panel to inform the Bill process, for circulation to Members ahead of its next meeting on 18 April. Secretariat
4 To confirm and circulate dates early for all remaining Year 1 meetings. Secretariat
5 To circulate link to the SHCS Users Day event to Members. Secretariat
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