Tackling Problem Debt Group papers: June 2018

Minutes and papers from the second meeting of the Tackling Problem Debt Group that took place on 18 June 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Lorraine King – Scottish Government – Consumer and Competition Policy Unit (chair)
  • Sharon Bell – StepChange
  • Russell Haddow - Accountant in Bankruptcy
  • Mike Holmyard – Citizens Advice Service
  • Karen Hurst – ABCUL
  • Anne Lavery - Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Yvonne MacDermid - Money Advice Scotland
  • Helen McCabe - Cemvo Scotland
  • Ben Murphy – Money Advice Service
  • Sandra Sankey - Improvement Service
  • Hazel Thoms - SLAB
  • Karen Grieve - Scottish Government – Fairer Scotland Team
  • Laura McGlynn - Scottish Government - CCPU
  • Andrew McConnell - Scottish Government – CCPU (Secretariat)



  • Michael McClements – COSLA
  • Sharon MacPherson - Scotcash
  • Laura Sexton - Scottish Government – Access to Justice Unit

Items and actions

Welcome and introduction

The chair welcomed the attendees and thanked them for attending the second meeting of the Tackling Problem Debt Group.  She explained that this meeting would focus on infrastructure, in particular debt advice helplines.

Minutes of previous meeting and updated remit

These were both agreed.

Presentation on national debtlines

Ben Murphy of Money Advice Service gave an overview of current national debtlines.

SWOT analysis of options

Discussion centred around two options, co-commissioning existing provision with all four UK nations and commissioning a Scottish only helpline(s) for both individuals and business. A wide variety of points were made, identifying strengths and weaknesses of both options. Economies of scale and continuity of service provision were identified as strengths of a UK approach while a Scottish approach could be tailored to our needs and help develop Scottish expertise. The views will help inform Scottish Government as it appraises the options available going forward.

Action 1: Scottish Government to circulate possible dates for next meeting of the Group in late August. The meeting will look at collaborative approaches.


Andrew McConnell

Email: andrew.mcconnell@gov.scot

Phone: 0131 244 1142

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