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current advice provision
Community Legal Service 'Not For Profit' Contracts
The London Regional Legal Services Committee (LRLSC)
completed a review of legal and advice service needs in the summer of
2000. The report emphasised that in Hackney it has identified a high
or medium need in the following categories of law: Consumer (0) Debt
(1) Employment (3) Mental Health (3) Welfare Benefits (5).
Only 12 contracts
(numbers per category are in the brackets above) have been let to service
providers across Hackney (14).
for profit' service providers have only 3 contracts between them in
these categories, with only 2 further contracts (in Housing and Immigration)
in other areas.
A CLS contract meets the costs of providing legal
advice and assistance to eligible clients.
In March 2001, The
Hackney Community Legal Service Partnership (HCLSP) issued the First
Draft of "A Strategic Plan for Advice Services in Hackney".
The report highlighted significant need in Hackney stating clearly that
"the needs identified are extensive and almost certainly outstrip
the current supply of advice services." (11)
need across the Borough was calculated across the broad range of legal
categories and presented in the form of "Needs Maps" (12).
(including Kings Park, Chatham and Wick wards), apart from one, have
a total need higher than the London ward average.
is evident by the fact that of the 9 categories of social welfare law
covered by the needs analysis undertaken by the London Regional Legal
Services Committee, only 1 is deemed as low need.
on average it can take up to 3 weeks to refer a client to an alternative
service provider (14).
Other Advice Provision
and under resourced the main CAB has suffered local authority cuts of
approximately 30% over the last 2 years (11).
East Hackney, whilst having a predicted need as high as other wards in Hackney, has only one service provider with a Community Legal Service contract. Apart from this sole private sector practice, only Kingsmead Advice Service provides an advice service.
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