Existing Users

Access your account, submit a petition & check the progress of your petition.

Forgotten password?

Remember me

New user? Sign up now

Background Info

This matter started as a result of experiences involving a family member being asked to pay what were, in my opinion, unreasonable and unaffordable charges for non-residential services. Through this experience, I have gained an understanding of the COSLA guidelines, the calculation formulation, the on the ground process and the lack of help and balance for the clients.

Upon further investigation and on hearing the Council mantra that they had a right to do this, I quickly discovered that potentially vulnerable and disabled adults were exposed to financial hardship. My opinion was reinforced through discussions I had with some “Help” organisations. The way in which charges are calculated does not appear to be fair and there is no body in place to regulate the actions of the councils.

The charging policy appears punitive, runs counter to good care and has no safety net, unlike other related policies such as Rent Assessment and Council Tax which both have relief capability. The only possible relief is through a government hardship payment, which suggests the policy is actually causing hardship.

Assessments for Housing Rent, Council Tax and Transport Contribution can all indicate that a client cannot afford to contribute but using the same figures, a non-residential charging policy can demand as much as 30% or more of a client’s income. A policy that literally can cause bankruptcy for a vulnerable and disabled client must be flawed.

Clients are also told that “Advocates” in local help organisations can help. The advocates that I have spoken to inform me that they are of no help, they do not understand the complexities of this policy.

The appeals process through the council appears to allow local authorities to self-police and self-regulate, and an appeal to the SPSO only looks at whether procedure was carried out properly.

A policy on charging for non-residential services should emanate from an independent authority and not be linked to local authorities, and COSLA cannot act as an effective regulatory body in this process.

The guidelines issued to local authorities should be more prescriptive forming a set of rules that councils must follow. This would increase consistency across Scotland in charging for such services, and prevent councils from interpreting the guidelines in a way that allows them to make what are, in my opinion, unreasonable charges for these services.

There is no person or body that is regulating councils, and there is no help for the client. The stress and strain placed on the vulnerable and disabled adults in this situation is inhumane and intolerable.

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.