Legal Advice Centres
Community Legal Advice centres and networks aim to:
enable people to protect their fundamental rights and sort out legal disputes
tackle disadvantage and promote social inclusion
deliver legal advice services to local communities according to local needs and priorities
provide quality integrated legal advice services ranging from basic information to representation in court, which offer value for money and are supported by co-ordinated funding
be independent of funders and government
bring services to clients who do not currently access legal services.
Accessing legal aid
Centres and networks will combine our funding and knowledge with that of local authorities and other funders to jointly buy services that better meet the needs of local people.
They will provide access to face to face legal advice from basic advice to specialist representation. The advice is in the five social welfare law categories:
Statement on the future of Joint Commissioning
We have published a statement on the future of joint commissioning. The statement makes our plans for future Community Legal Advice centres and networks clear, in order to give those providers planning to bid for Social Welfare Law contracts in 2010 as much certainty as possible about the duration of the contract.
The statement and a Q and A can be found under Documents.
List of potential centres and networks published
We agreed in our settlement with The Law Society to publish the list of areas where we are in discussions with local authorities about setting up Community Legal Advice centres and networks before 1 April 2010.
See Documents for the list. This is a closed list and we will not be looking to set up other services before 1 April 2010.
However our settlement agrees that we can work with other local authorities for services opening after this date. This can include running a tendering process before 1 April 2010. If this happens we will announce these areas as soon as we have agreement from the local authority to do so.
Where are we currently working?
We are discussing the possibility of jointly commissioning a centre or network with these local authorities:
Barking and Dagenham
Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend – please see joint statement from the LSC and WAG in the documents panel
East Riding of Yorkshire
Gloucestershire – please see the statement in the documents panel
Sunderland – please see the statement in the documents panel
West Sussex – please see the statement in the documents panel
Information on progress in the areas where we are working to jointly commission services can be found in the documents panel. We will update this monthly.
We have worked with the relevant local authorities to jointly commission and open Community Legal Advice Centres in the following areas (click on the links to go to each Centre’s website)
For a Swindon solicitor, Oxford solicitors, Cheltenham solicitors or a specialist personal injury solicitor who practice in all manner of criminal, clinical negligence and provide legal aid, any solicitor will be able to help, but there are a lot who offer no win no fee, so if legal aid doesn’t cover you, give one of those a try.
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