Date: 28 June 2023

Time: 13:30

Venue: Microsoft Teams


  • Judith Paterson (Acting Co-Chair)
  • Dr Mark Simpson (Acting Co-Chair)
  • Marilyn Howard (Member)

Apologies: None

In Attendance (SCoSS Secretariat)—

  • Stephen Herbert, Secretary
  • Andrew Strong, Head of Policy and Scrutiny
  • Andrzej Hagger, Analysis and Participation Officer
  • Christopher Galloway, Analysis and Participation Support Officer

The Acting Co-Chair, Judith Paterson, welcomed the Board to the meeting.  Members did not have any relevant interests to declare.

The Minutes of the May Board meeting were agreed.

In attendance—

  • Nicola Birrell, Senior Policy Officer, Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods Senior, Social Security Policy; and
  • Lynn Forsyth (Unit Head, Five Family Payments, Funeral Support and Challenge Rights Unit, Social Security Policy.

The Board discussed the scope and purpose of forthcoming Best Start Foods regulations with the Scottish Government officials attending the meeting.  It was noted that the main purpose of the forthcoming regulations was two-fold.  Firstly, to remove the income thresholds for Best Start Foods and secondly, to align eligibility and processes for Best Start Foods with Best Start Grant and Scottish Child Payment.  The timetable for scrutiny of the regulations was also discussed with draft regulations expected to be referred to SCoSS on 7 August.

The Board agreed a draft letter, in response to the regulations which had been referred to SCoSS for retrospective scrutiny.

The Board agreed the budget allocation, of £450,000, for 2023-24.

The Board discussed and noted the forecast financial position for 2023-24.

The Board agreed the risk register.

The Board considered the work programme and agreed the approach to scrutiny of forthcoming draft regulations on Best Start Foods and Pension Age Disability Payments.  The Board also agreed if feasible within the timescale for scrutiny of the Best Start Foods regulations to hold a round-table session with relevant stakeholders.

The Board had considered the discussion earlier in the meeting, regarding forthcoming Best Start Foods regulations, under the previous agenda item.

The Board noted that it is intended to hear from stakeholders regarding the up-rating of benefits at the October Board meeting.

Meeting closed at – 15:54

Date of Next Meeting: Thursday 10 August

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