Stewart Lochrie, our Ambassador for Scotland, was quickly on the case when it became apparent that there were problems with the system for the new Scottish grant. So, he wrote and tweeted to the Scottish government and has had a prompt reply from Kate Forbes MSP.
Well done, Stewart, his letter follows:
I am writing to you in my role as Scotland Ambassador for the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council on behalf of the many Scottish Approved Driving Instructors who have had their applications for the Mobile Close Contact Services grant unfairly rejected today despite supplying accurate information via the portal at https://www.bizsupport.scot/.
The portal appears to be rejecting legitimate company Facebook pages and legitimate business websites, in one instance from a driving school in Ayrshire that has been in constant operation for over 25 years.
While we are incredibly grateful for the additional support being offered to Scottish driving instructors from the Scottish Government, we would suggest that applying a draconian “one strike and you’re out” policy, with no right to appeal and no way to amend existing applications is, at best, harsh. At worst, it is needlessly discriminatory.
In addition to the obvious flaws in the system, noted above, genuine mistakes will be made by people under an incredible amount of financial and mental strain. The government should be doing all it can to assist people in their attempts to access funding. Not excluding through a combination of its errors and decree.
I would request that you revisit your policy of instant rejection with no appeals. I am convinced that no other industry has been treated in this manner while attempting to access vital funding.
Voting for the Intelligent Instructor awards closes at midnight on Sunday 21 February. Please vote to help them find the most worthy winners!
They tell us the voting in some categories is super close and that public votes have an equal weighting with those cast by the expert judging panel. So, a final push could make all the difference in helping them find winners in the following categories:
Driving Instructor Insurer of the Year
- Product of the Year
- Professional Support Provider of the Year
- Car Supplier of the Year
- Driving Instructor Car of the Year
- National Driving School of the Year
You can vote here. Winners will be announced via video 7 March and if you have not done so already, you can register on here to find this out first.
The next online seminar will be on Tuesday 23 February at 7.30pm. Please note that this is a change of day as the Prime Minister will be making an announcement on the Monday evening.
The panel will be Lynne, Matt, Charles, Andrew, and Sue.
Any questions for the panel should be submitted by midday on Friday 19 February please. Email them to Andrew – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please register using this link.