Diary entries cover a variety of topics, some of which you may find triggering. These topics include self-harm, suicide and domestic violence.
12 May 2023

Bessie J

Have you had any financial support from your local council?

The Scottish Government, provided all 32 Scottish Councils with a Cost Of Living fund at end of 2022.

I saw via social media that other Scottish Councils were dispensing £150 gift cards to low income households who meet the criteria of being in receipt of housing benefit. There was anger from both those who received, as the card could only be used in certain retail outlets and cafes, not budget supermarkets; and others who claimed their taxes paid for "wasters and drug abusers" to get another entitlement.

Nothing was mentioned in social media or Internet searches of Aberdeenshire Council having this fund.

I contacted all local councillors, of which one replied (SNP). Yes the council had the fund, which the councillor claims she was unaware of until I contacted her. She said she would look into how it was to be dispensed. It took 3 months and 2 delays for the council to post out 12,000 gift cards with the value of £100 to low income households.

The shops that accepted the card were mostly tourist gift shops, although a budget chemist and small supermarket in the area accepted it.

The next issue was, these shops, could not yet accept the gift cards due to the council had not connected the online payment program yet.

This caused stress and embarrassment to many who filled their trolley with groceries and had to put them back on shelves.

No councillor can justify why every other council dispensed £150 per household whilst they dispensed £100. 12,000 x £50 = £600,000.

Where has the rest of the fund gone to?

This is the same Conservative led council that cannot account for £5.2 million spending to the auditors.

The same Conservative led council who the local community are asking how a promised £1.4 million extension and refurbishment of a leisure centre, tuned into a £300,000 disabled toilet in the run down leisure centre with damp growing on the walls from the swimming pool in it.

Cite this entry

Use Bessie J's words in your own research or editorial
Changing Realities (2023), Bessie J. https://changingrealities.org/e/wc8W6 (12 May 2023)
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