Making the difference for consumers
Consumer Focus Scotland has published its 2009/10 Annual Review, Making the difference for consumers.
This Review covers the first full financial year since we were established as the new champion for consumers in Scotland in October 2008. It details the key research projects and advocacy work we have undertaken to make a difference for consumers during this period.
Our focus has been, and will continue to be, very much on the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers, not least because all the evidence points to them being disproportionately affected by the impact of cuts in public expenditure.Consumer Focus Scotland has also published a summary of its Operational Annual Plan for 2010/11
Energy Best Deal Scotland launch
Consumer Focus Scotland and Ofgem will launch a new campaign next month to support consumers to get the best deal on their energy bills.
The Energy Best Deal Scotland campaign will build capacity among advice agencies to support consumers, especially those facing disadvantage, to find the best available deal on their energy supply and raise consumer awareness about switching supplier or tariff to reduce their bills.
The campaign will be launched at the Renfield Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow on Wednesday 22 September at 1:30pm. Consumer Focus Scotland and Ofgem speakers will explain the background to the campaign, the work that will be undertaken to support consumers to achieve the best deal on their energy bills and how others can support and get involved in this work.
If you would like to attend the launch please contact Annie McGovern or call 0141 226 5261.
Turning up the heat on fuel poverty
Consumer Focus Scotland has published a major new report exploring the current position on fuel poverty in Scotland from the consumer perspective.
Turning up the Heat, Benchmarking Fuel Poverty in Scotland, says that a step change is needed now at Scottish and UK level if targets to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016 have any chance of being achieved.
Scottish Government figures estimate that the number of Scottish households living in fuel poverty has now risen to 26.5% and that this is likely to continue to rise as the impact of the recession bites further. Scotland has a higher rate of fuel poverty than England and Wales and the poor energy performance of our housing stock is a major factor in this.
The report reveals that differences in the way each nation measures fuel poverty add complexity to how decisions are made about where resources should be targeted. It is intended that it will help to define the way ahead for Scotland on this crucial issue.
Last chance to register for civil justice seminar
There is just one more week to register for the Civil Justice Advisory Group consultation seminar which is being held on Monday 13 September at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh.
The seminar will support the Group’s consultation process on practical solutions as to how the proposals of the Scottish civil courts review might be taken forward in order to improve access to justice for users of the civil justice system.
The full-day event will be interactive, with roundtable discussions and feedback sessions. Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of Laws, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and co-director of the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies in the Faculty of Laws at University College London will be the keynote speaker.
The seminar will be used to inform the development of a report which the Group will submit to the Scottish Government.
Details of the consultation and seminar can be found on the Consumer Focus Scotland website.