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Legal centres call on Prime Minister  over access to the law


Law centres have called on the Prime Minister to reassess how the vulnerable gain access to the law.

The key messages contained in a letter to Blair are;

 a. Social Welfare Law is an important element of the Welfare State

b. 50 million has been cut from the Civil Legal Aid budget since the introduction of the CLS

c. The cuts have severely impacted on Social welfare law

d. High Street solicitors have been largely driven out of legal aid with no replacement

e. Local Authorities are also reducing funding to advice services

f. Funding that did exist for community work and legal education has virtually disappeared

g The result of the cuts is homelessness, families living below the poverty line.

 

Law Centres believe that we need ring fenced civil legal aid budget, replacement of the funding that has been cut and a separate fund for non direct work.

 John Nicholson, Practice Manager of Bury Law Centre said &We hope to encourage awareness - and resulting Government action - to ensure that everyone in need has access to high quality, free, legal help in their own communities."

 

 

January 2005

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