Here is the full programme for 2015’s event:

9.00 am

Coffee and registration

10.00 am

Opening remarks and welcome by Alan Price, Chairman Ross & Cromarty CAB

Session 1 – 10.30am-11.30am

Financial Ombudsman – get the lowdown in the Highlands

The financial ombudsman helps sort out many types of disputes. You’ll learn how it can assist people when they feel unfairly treated by a financial business. It could be a debt problem; about a pay day loan, a credit broker, an insurer or a bank. You might be surprised by the range of businesses it covers and what it can do to help.


A talk on Universal Credit.

Social Policy – Behind the Scenes: a Policy Officer perspective

Introduced by Matthew Banks, CAS Community Action Team, the workshop will be led by Fraser Sutherland, CAS Policy Officer.  Fraser will give a behind the scenes view of what happens when your evidence arrives at CAS and how it is used to influence and change policy.  Fraser will talk about his work on Payday Loans, Funeral Costs and Parking on Private Land.  There will be an opportunity to help consider solutions to new areas of policy work and for a Q&A.


Refreshment break – Lounge

Session 2 – 11.50am-12.50pm

Equality and Diversity

Guidelines on the principles of equality and diversity.

Pension Guidance Guarantee

Pension wise – the role of a generalist adviser.

Kinship Care

Exploring the issues faced by people looking after children that aren’t their own.



Session 3 – 2.30pm-3.30pm


A talk on Universal Credit.


The basic concepts of employment law.

Consumer Rights

The latest trends and local issues delivered by trading standards.

Session 4 – 3.50pm-5pm

Question Time: Working together to tackle poverty

Debate with the panel on how we can work together to tackle poverty


Chairman Jimmy Gray, Convenor the Highland Council

Margaret Lynch, CEO Citizens Advice Scotland

Susan Johnston, Universal Support Development Manager at DWP

Elaine Young, Solicitor and Head of Service Civil Legal Assistance Office

Dr Paul Monaghan, General Manager Highland Homeless Trust

5.00 pm

Comfort Break

5.15 pm

Closing Remarks


Pre Dinner Drinks  –  Lounge


Gathering Dinner   –  Dining Room