Violence Against Women and Girls: Strategic Review of Funding and Commissioning of Services Minutes: May 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 25 May 2023

Attendees and apologies


Lesley Irving

Advisory Group Attendees:

Dr Claire Houghton 

Malcolm Chisholm

Mukami McCrum

Professor Philomena De Lima

Professor Angela O’Hagan

Katie Cosgrove

Katie Kelly

Secretariat Attendees:

Jane McAteer

Items and actions


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, followed by a review of the minutes from the previous meeting. The advisory group (AG) accepted these as an accurate record of Meeting 11.


  • Secretariat to upload minutes to the review’s webpage

Chair update

The Chair provided an update on the progress of report publication and indicative drafting timescales.

There was a short discussion about the recommendations. The Group agreed that it would be essential for SG/CoSLA to examine how to translate law into practice during the implementation stage and considered that the new partnership agreement would be an excellent opportunity to make the Review deliverable. However there were concerns that this could lead to a landscape dominated by local authorities to the detriment of community planning. There will have to be greater transparency in spending combined with greater accountability and oversight around how money is spent locally. It may be useful to tie in Audit Scotland to consider how the Review can fit into a new partnership agreement underpinned by Equally Safe.

The Group also discussed updating some of the language in the report to more closely align with new FM priorities and suggested separating the service standards and regulation sections. They agreed that the priority areas flagged in the report should recognise resourcing implications and questions regarding co-ordination since it is often difficult to identify where responsibility for work sits in the SG and identified policy leads, particularly when there are budgetary pressures. It will be important to secure collective buy-in and reinforce that the recommendations are the responsibility of all Director Generals across the SG. This will avoid the risk of these being lost in the system or looked at solely through the lens of public reform leading to scenarios where they have no home as can be seen with areas such as gambling.

The Chair provided an update on the progress of the short film which features excellent contributions from a range of women the Review has engaged with along with the group of Mentors in Violence Prevention from Falkirk. This will be shown at the launch and be available to view on the Review’s webpage.


  • an AG member agreed to draft additional text on this for the Report and will provide details of a contact within CoSLA
  • text about identifiable individuals to be added to the report

Report launch

The Chair updated the group on amended timings for the launch and confirmed that copies of the report will be available during the event. The Group approved the draft Agenda for event.

Comms and engagement strategy

The Group discussed the contents of the news release and agreed that it should simplify messaging and include key headline items about the Review considering human rights approach and impacts on those experiencing gender based violence. Media contacts were also identified who could potentially cover the launch of the Report.

The Chair also shared details of post-review meetings with various group and was happy to be consulted about operationalising the recommendations beyond the conclusion of her appointment in June.


  •  Secretariat to email provided contacts.  

Any other business

The Group discussed plans for a farewell lunch to mark the conclusion of the Review.


  • Secretariat to look for a suitable date in calendars
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