Sandra White MSP welcomes Government commitment to enshrine Social Security

Social security as a human right will be enshrined in the foundation and functions of Scotland’s new social security agency.

The overwhelming majority of respondents to the social security consultation backed the principles of fairness, dignity and respect being built into the agency from day one.

The human right to social security will be on the face of the Bill which will be introduced to parliament in June, and an early action from the consultation will see those principles reflected in a charter.

Sandra White MSP, Chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement today  that Social Security will be enshrined as a Human Right, by law, in the new Bill that will be presented to Parliament. Ms White said:

“Having spoken to many of my constituents and those who have given evidence to the Social Security Committee it is plain to see that social security is an issue that transcends politics and is a right that should be protected by law.

I have no doubt that the Bill presented to parliament in the summer will have fairness, inclusivity, dignity and respect at its core.”

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman made the announcement in a statement to the Scottish Parliament where she also responded to Research Scotland’s independent report into the consultation. She said:

“I have made clear the transfer of these powers will not be a simple inheritance and instead we will work in partnership with the people of Scotland to do things in a different way – one that is fairer, more inclusive, dignified and more respectful. But we must also make sure that the transition of powers is safe and secure, and we get a system that is right for Scotland.

“That partnership is already paying dividends with the consultation responses helping to shape the look and work of Scotland’s agency.

“There was clear support for our commitment to a rights based approach and continuing Scotland’s longstanding tradition of support for human rights, which is why we will enshrine these principles in the new system’s legislation.

“We are taking this further by including a charter within the Bill – it strengthens our guarantee by going beyond warm words and creating a binding contract between the system and the people who use it.

“I will also announce further details on our experience panels in the next few weeks, and these will see us work with people who use the current system to design, build and refine a new and better model.”

It was confirmed that Dr Jim McCormick, associate director for Scotland with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will chair the Expert Advisory Group on Disability and Carers’ Benefits. Ms Freeman added:

“Jim’s credentials for the role are impeccable as he has extensive knowledge of the issues and a genuine passion for fairness and equality.

“He will offer us independent and expert guidance and will work closely with the experience panels to understand and listen to people who use the current system, helping us create a new and better one in Scotland.”

Dr McCormick said:

“Devolution of key disability and carer benefits marks a significant change for Scotland. Ensuring the process is safe and secure for the many people who rely on these payments now, and who will claim them in future, is the first priority. We will need a system that raises take-up, reduces poverty and significantly improves communication.

“I am delighted the Social Security Minister has asked me to chair this independent advisory group which will work for the duration of this parliament. It will draw on many types of expertise, with the diverse experiences of disabled people and carers as its consistent core.

“In providing advice to the Scottish Government, it will not shy away from difficult questions and it will seek to learn from effective approaches outside Scotland.”

Sandra White MSP Calls On Local Authorities To Bid For £11m Energy Efficiency Funding


Sandra White MSP has encouraged Glasgow City Council to apply for a share of the Scottish Government’s £11m fund to deliver energy efficiency improvements to homes, businesses and public buildings and community projects.

The second wave of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) pilot fund will help local authorities test new and innovative energy-saving approaches which can then be taken forward when SEEP is rolled out fully in 2018, once the Scotland Bill brings further devolution of energy efficiency powers.

SNP MSP Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin said:

“The Scottish Government’s £11m funding pot to help improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses and public buildings in Scotland is a great opportunity for local communities, supporting local projects that build on the successful work already carried out and ensuring Scotland leads the way in energy efficiency.

“I am calling on Glasgow City Council to submit proposals on how they’d use this funding to help meet local energy needs more efficiently and at a lower cost, whilst also helping tackle climate change.

“The SNP Government has delivered almost one million energy efficiency measures to almost one million Scottish households since 2008 and invested more than £650 million over the last eight years.  I’d encourage as many communities as possible to come up with their own proposals to make use of this vital funding to help transform energy efficiency in their area.”

Sandra supports home heat energy efficiency event in Glasgow Kelvin

The Scottish Government funded free and impartial energy advice service, Home Energy Scotland will run an event helping to restore warmth to historical homes.

The free event will be held on Monday 20th February 2017 at 5pm-7.30pm at Hillhead Library, and is open to anyone living in a historical property such as tenement or period home who finds their home hard to heat, or keep warm.

Book here:

Sandra White MSP said, “I am very pleased to support this fantastic event which will help people to keep their houses warm and improve energy efficiency.

I would encourage all in Glasgow Kelvin to consider attending this event. to find out how they can save money, improve the environment, and improve the heat in their homes.”

Home Energy Scotland has brought together a number of industry specialists to offer help and guidance, and who will cover all elements of energy conservation and heat loss including glazing, draught proofing and insulation.

Expert speakers include Dr Moses Jenkins from Historic Environment Scotland, Home Energy Scotland’s Technical Specialists and local owners who have already implemented energy efficiency measures in their homes and are happy to share their experiences.

After short informative talks that will include information out about technical support and funding available to help improve energy efficiency, you will have the chance to meet and speak with the specialists on hand.

Home Energy Scotland provides free, impartial advice to help lower energy bills and carbon emissions. Find out more at

Postcode Lottery Funding for Charities in Glasgow Kelvin

From today local charities can apply for the latest funding round for funds raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Funding will be allocated through three Trusts, which support different categories of projects. There will be two opportunities for groups to apply in 2017 (January and August) and £3 million will be available for each funding round.

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said, “The work of the People’s Postcode Lottery to support charities to deliver their work can have a real impact on people’s lives here in Glasgow Kelvin. With millions of pounds available to help on a wide range of issues I would encourage all local charities to make a bid for this funding and for all to make their local charities aware of this opportunity.”

People’s Postcode Trust seeks applications for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights, equal rights and conflict resolution for some of society’s most vulnerable groups. Postcode Local Trust supports wildlife, sustainability and volunteering initiatives. Postcode Community Trust focuses on grass-roots sports, arts, recreation and healthy living programmes.

The application process is simple. The first round – which opens from 23 January until 10 February 2017 – starts with organisations being encouraged to submit an ‘expression of interest’ form. Charities will then be shortlisted to complete a full application for funding.

In August, interested groups and organisations can apply or re-apply when a second pot of £3million will become available. The maximum a project can receive is £20,000.

For more information on how local charities can apply please visit the following websites:,,

Celebrating Scotland’s History and Heritage

“I was pleased to support the Spirit of Scotland campaign promoting Scotland’s heritage, I encourage all to take part in these exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland’s history.” – Sandra White MSP

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and ends on 31 December 2017 and will build on the momentum generated by the current 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014.


Sandra at the Spirit of Scotland event in the Scottish Parliament

Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will highlight and celebrate both our tangible and intangible heritage – our buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites as well as our diverse stories, traditions and culture, all with a focus on engagement and participation.

More info at