The Scottish executive has reversed its decision to relocate the
Mental Welfare Commission from Edinburgh to Falkirk next year.
The executive’s climb down came after the MWC warned that the move
would divert its attention from monitoring October’s introduction
of the new Scottish Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2003.
However, it is a technicality which seems to have prompted the
backtrack: a statement from the executive said the MWC’s
independence and arm’s-length status essentially meant it could not
force the move through.
An executive spokesperson said: “In the process of going through
the financial issues, we realised three weeks ago we did not have
the powers to make a final decision over the MWC’s
The spokesperson said progress in planning for the move had been
slower than expected while the issue of staff retention remained
unresolved, making it unlikely the move would have been completed
by March 2006, when the lease on the MWC’s existing offices
An MWC statement said it had decided the best interests of service
users would not be served by moving from Edinburgh “during a time
of great change”, and by remaining it “would be in a better
position to retain highly experienced staff and focus on the Act”.