A new advisory committee has been established by statutory body Consumer Scotland to help support the needs of consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
Consumer Scotland has a remit to identify key issues affecting consumers both now and in the future and works with the private, public and third sectors to address them.
It must have particular regard to the needs of consumers in vulnerable circumstances – defined as consumers with significantly fewer or less favourable options or at significantly greater risk of harm or more substantial harm than a typical consumer.
The new Advisory Committee on Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances will play an important role in supporting Consumer Scotland’s work on consumer vulnerability.
The new committee includes representatives from the Citizens Advice network, Glasgow Caledonian University, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Legal Services Agency, SP Energy Networks, Scottish Rural Action and Young Scot.
Members will be asked to draw on their own networks and professional experience to help inform and advise Consumer Scotland’s research, advocacy, and policy work.
Angela Morgan, Chair of the advisory committee and a Board member of Consumer Scotland said:
“There is considerable evidence which shows consumers exposed to vulnerability such as poor health, severe financial pressures and life events such as bereavement or job loss are at greater risk of harm.
“Consumer Scotland will build an understanding of the experience, needs and priorities of consumers in vulnerable circumstances, ensuring that we listen to, value and respect their lived experience and that it is reflected in our advocacy work.
“The work of the advisory committee and the wealth of experience its members bring will be absolutely vital in achieving our ambitions.”
The Advisory Committee on Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances membership:
Angela Morgan: Board member, Consumer Scotland
Nick Martin: Board member, Consumer Scotland
Chris Birt: Associate Director for Scotland, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
John McKendrick: Professor in Social Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University
Kendal Morris: Director Customer Service, SP Energy Networks
Twimukye Macline Mushaka: Community engagement professional specialising in understanding lived experiences
Karen Nailen: Chief Executive, CAB West Lothian
Artemis Pana: National Coordinator, Scottish Rural Action
Aaliya Seyal: Chief Executive Officer, Legal Services Agency and trustee, Scottish Refugee Council Board
Kirsten Urquhart: Chief Executive, Young Scot
The Advisory Committee on Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances will meet up to five times annually with the initial appointment term for membership running until 31st March 2025.
Consumer Scotland is the statutory body for consumers in Scotland. It was established by the Consumer Scotland Act 2020 as a Non-Ministerial Office and is accountable to the Scottish Parliament. Consumer Scotland’s purpose is to improve outcomes for current and future consumers.