Consumer Representation in Scotland : Case Study Evaluation of the Remit, Operations and Effectiveness of the Scottish Consumer Council 1975-2008

  • Scott Hamilton

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The National Consumer Council was established in 1975 along with its sub-committees of the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC) and the Welsh Consumer Councjl to represent the interests of UK consumers. In 2008 it was replaced by a new statutory-based organisation,Consumer Focus. This thesis makes an original contribution by examining the remit,operations and effectiveness of the SCC (1975-2008) as the premier Scottish consumer representative organisation since the advent of the recognised consumer movement in late 1960s. Using the Rossi et at., (2004) evaluation framework as an analytical lens, it argues that in terms of the efficacy of SCC outcomes, the SCC’s primary contribution was as an‘enabler’ of change, initiating and facilitating positive change for Scottish consumers whilst working within the constraints of its remit. It demonstrates that there was a clear policy need for the SCC and its presence within the policy process made a positive difference, but to varying degrees, to the representation of Scottish consumers’ interests at all levels of policymaking, and across a wide-range of policy sectors.

The overriding conclusion of the thesis is that the SCC made a valued, and important,contribution to the representation of Scottish consumers’ interests (i.e. proximal outcomes) in the policy process and that the lessons learnt from this evaluation of its remit, operations and effectiveness should be considered in the current deliberations by the UK coalition government as to the future form and configuration of the consumer protection institutional landscape in the UK (so as to ensure the effective representation of Scottish consumersthrough the continued delivery of the SCC’s first- and second-level distal outcomes).
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
SupervisorStephen Bailey (Supervisor), Margaret-Anne Houston (Supervisor) & Alan Hutton (Supervisor)

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