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ASK JASMINE 6: Does the council have a duty of care?

Isobel Lawrance 24th Sep 2022 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes


Welcome to Ask Jasmine, the column where I round up some of the questions I have received from readers each week. This week, I answer questions about the council’s duty of care, Queen memorabilia and more!

I hope these answers can help you with any questions you may have. Don’t forget to leave any questions you have in the comments below or email me on [email protected].



Can I get grants to decorate my home?


I am living in a council flat in London and want to find best value for money for a home makeover (new flooring and wall painting). The indoor looks shabby (no flooring and wall paper is very old). The council do not provide any help with this. Could you please advise me where to get help or grant for this work? 

Thank you for your kind reply. 


Unfortunately, councils no longer offer home repair/improvement grants, due to budget cuts. However, there are some other options you could investigate. 

Home Improvement Agencies in your area may be able to offer some help towards costs: https://www.findmyhia.org.uk/  

Alternatively, you could try Turn2Us which allows you to search for grants by geographical area and need: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/  

You could also contact Citizen’s Advice and ask to speak to someone who deals with housing. They may be able to offer more help and guidance. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/  

I wish all the best with this. 


Does the council have a duty of care?

I’m terminally ill and need carers. I thought the local council had a duty of care to help care for us or help us find private carers to do it. My local council carers got rid of everyone bar me in my area from their books. They are trying to get rid of us too. 

We can’t afford to go private. The local council does assessments to determine what care we need and how much it costs. We pay a lot in care considering I live off benefits. They want to get rid of us and want us to go private, which we can’t afford. Can they force us like that? Do they have a duty of care to us? 

I’m guessing its different in each country. I’m in Scotland. 


Thank you for getting in contact. I am sorry to hear of your situation with the carers and the council.  

In answer to your question, unfortunately the level of care councils are duty bound to provide is open to interpretation. They should provide you with a certain level of care, depending on your needs, or help you find that provision. 

I spoke to someone at Marie Curie Scotland on your behalf, but she was unable to provide much information without knowing more about your situation. She did say you could contact them directly for more advice and guidance about your rights. The number is 0800 090 2309. 

There is also Care Information Scotland: 0800 011 3200 (open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm). They have lots of information on their website and an online chat portal:  https://www.careinfoscotland.scot/  

Do you have anyone close by who can advocate for you? This would be ideal as they could contact organisations on your behalf. If not, you could contact the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance 0131 510 9410 for help. 

I wish you all the very best with finding the care that you need. 


Where can I sell queen memorabilia?

I have a newspaper issue with the late Queen Elizabeth on it from her jubilee in 2002. I don’t know if anyone would want it or where I could sell it? I’d be grateful for advice. 


Thank you for getting in contact regarding your newspaper featuring the Queen from 2002. 

I recommend that you list your item on eBay. You can either set a price or offer it up for auction. There are currently a large number of similar items for sale as there is understandably increased interest at the moment. 

It’s worth checking to see what other newspapers are selling for and also check what they are charging for postage. 

Good luck! 


Is there any financial help available for me?

I am in my mid-60s, live alone, and Iam on an income of approx. £600 per month. I am not yet eligible for the state pension and I am not eligible for universal credit. There doesn’t seem to be the same help available for the likes of me, as those on benefits or state pension. 

I have received some money from my local authority and have been recently awarded a grant towards heating from the Home Heating Support Fund. I am glad of these amounts, but they are not on a par with the amounts of money available to those I have just mentioned. 

Any advice appreciated. 


From what I have read in your message, you are doing everything that I would have suggested. You have contacted the council for extra help and you have applied for grants.  

I think the best advice we can give is for you to contact an organisation like the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which specialises in help for people on lower incomes. They are experts in this field and may be able to offer advice and guidance. The phone number is 01904 629241. 

We do get other queries like yours – from people who fall in the gaps between low income and benefits. If I find out anything more, I will get back in contact with you. I would also be very interested to hear how you get on. It is an area that needs attention and addressing. 


Do you have a question for me? Leave it in the comments below, or email me your question on [email protected]. I may just answer it in next week’s Ask Jasmine column.


Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence. 

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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