Cross Street Law Centre to cut services when legal aid rules change

AN ERITH law centre is having to cut services when changes to legal aid come in this April.

From April 1, Cross Street Law Centre will no longer offer drop in advice to people who have benefits, debt, housing or employment issues.

The not-for-profit agency in Cross Street, which currently receives more than half its income from legal aid, has been hit by a government decision to withdraw funding for these areas.

Housing advice will only be available to assist homeless people or those with rent arrears or health problems while there will be no debt advice and a drastic reduction in employment and benefit cases.

Chief executive Kathy Smith said: "We are not in plush premises and spend money only on essentials.

"We cannot trim any more from our budget and some staff are looking at reducing their working hours to help us through."

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:03am Fri 1 Mar 13

lollie,erith says...

disgusting considering there are going to be major changes in april to housing benefit, DLA and other benefits. Feel sorry for many people who will be facing these, some of whom are already very ill or under stress.
disgusting considering there are going to be major changes in april to housing benefit, DLA and other benefits. Feel sorry for many people who will be facing these, some of whom are already very ill or under stress. lollie,erith

9:47am Fri 1 Mar 13

simonwebb70 says...

If the previous Labour Government had not allowed mass immigration and the Human Rights Act to be abused by so many there would be Legal Aid available to those that need help and deserve help. The Coalition can not be blamed for the cuts. They inherited an awful problem and this is just the tip of the iceberg with more cuts to come. Just look at the strain mass immigration has put on our housing, benefits system and NHS.
If the previous Labour Government had not allowed mass immigration and the Human Rights Act to be abused by so many there would be Legal Aid available to those that need help and deserve help. The Coalition can not be blamed for the cuts. They inherited an awful problem and this is just the tip of the iceberg with more cuts to come. Just look at the strain mass immigration has put on our housing, benefits system and NHS. simonwebb70

10:27am Fri 1 Mar 13

concerned.erith says...

I don't feel sorry for the majority of the people who use this service as they always seem to be the ones who know how to screw the system and ultimately the tax payer!
I don't feel sorry for the majority of the people who use this service as they always seem to be the ones who know how to screw the system and ultimately the tax payer! concerned.erith

11:38am Fri 1 Mar 13

lollie,erith says...

Not in all cases. A lot of the changes to housing will affect a lot of people who are working and on a low wage. I do agree the reason we are in this mess is due to mass immigration and now they will be allowing romanians and bulgarians freely come here.
Not in all cases. A lot of the changes to housing will affect a lot of people who are working and on a low wage. I do agree the reason we are in this mess is due to mass immigration and now they will be allowing romanians and bulgarians freely come here. lollie,erith

1:50pm Fri 1 Mar 13

hereallweek says...

concerned.erith wrote:
I don't feel sorry for the majority of the people who use this service as they always seem to be the ones who know how to screw the system and ultimately the tax payer!
Interesting comment. How long have you worked at the Law Centre?
[quote][p][bold]concerned.erith[/bold] wrote: I don't feel sorry for the majority of the people who use this service as they always seem to be the ones who know how to screw the system and ultimately the tax payer![/p][/quote]Interesting comment. How long have you worked at the Law Centre? hereallweek

2:06pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Incidentally says...

People on low income qualify for Legal Aid. The rules are strict. it allows people to gain access to Justice. Without it the only solution is paying provately which isn't always affordable. 'No win- No fee' is only viable for injury claims. After April it will be difficult for anyone sacked to take action unless they can pay. 98% of people who take cases to employment tribunals lose. A huge percentage settle beforehand because of Law Centres. this actually saves money in the long term. One in eight people who receive housing benefit are IN work. Westminster Council is now spending £17,000 a month on housing families in hotels who lost their homes because Housing Benefit dfoesn't pay the rent. Compared with £5,000 before. A recent study by Southwark Council says that the paying of benefit to tenants rather than landlords will cost them an additional £14 million a year. None of these measures save money. No government caused this crisis, the banks did. Labour or the Tories could not create a global recession. it is daft to suggest it. As for migration, the figures are actually down 30% compared with this time last year. Contratry to Daily Mail belief you cannot come to the UK and claim benefits. You can come and work, just as UK citizens do in mainland Europe
People on low income qualify for Legal Aid. The rules are strict. it allows people to gain access to Justice. Without it the only solution is paying provately which isn't always affordable. 'No win- No fee' is only viable for injury claims. After April it will be difficult for anyone sacked to take action unless they can pay. 98% of people who take cases to employment tribunals lose. A huge percentage settle beforehand because of Law Centres. this actually saves money in the long term. One in eight people who receive housing benefit are IN work. Westminster Council is now spending £17,000 a month on housing families in hotels who lost their homes because Housing Benefit dfoesn't pay the rent. Compared with £5,000 before. A recent study by Southwark Council says that the paying of benefit to tenants rather than landlords will cost them an additional £14 million a year. None of these measures save money. No government caused this crisis, the banks did. Labour or the Tories could not create a global recession. it is daft to suggest it. As for migration, the figures are actually down 30% compared with this time last year. Contratry to Daily Mail belief you cannot come to the UK and claim benefits. You can come and work, just as UK citizens do in mainland Europe Incidentally

8:34pm Sun 3 Mar 13

lollie,erith says...

not all immigrants are from europe. you can claim benefits if you are a refugee who is fleeing persecution etc. but some are falsely claiming to be for example somalian.
not all immigrants are from europe. you can claim benefits if you are a refugee who is fleeing persecution etc. but some are falsely claiming to be for example somalian. lollie,erith

2:03pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Incidentally says...

lollie,erith wrote:
not all immigrants are from europe. you can claim benefits if you are a refugee who is fleeing persecution etc. but some are falsely claiming to be for example somalian.
Regardless of where they are from, net migration is down 30%, that is people coming here. You can only be deemed a 'refugee' if your claim for asylum is accepted. Escaping a war zone, like the one in Somalia still didn't automatically grant you asylum. The figures for people 'claiming' asylum has dropped off the scale.
[quote][p][bold]lollie,erith[/bold] wrote: not all immigrants are from europe. you can claim benefits if you are a refugee who is fleeing persecution etc. but some are falsely claiming to be for example somalian.[/p][/quote]Regardless of where they are from, net migration is down 30%, that is people coming here. You can only be deemed a 'refugee' if your claim for asylum is accepted. Escaping a war zone, like the one in Somalia still didn't automatically grant you asylum. The figures for people 'claiming' asylum has dropped off the scale. Incidentally

7:04pm Wed 6 Mar 13

lollie,erith says...

i was only using somalia as an example. there are also other nationalities who come into the country on false passports and still manage to claim benefits, often multiple benefits in many different names. i dont believe the figures of 30% reduction in migration. it depends what paper you read. also i heard when families come here they are classed as 1 unit but when they are removed for whatever reason, they are registered individually so this tweaks the figures.
i was only using somalia as an example. there are also other nationalities who come into the country on false passports and still manage to claim benefits, often multiple benefits in many different names. i dont believe the figures of 30% reduction in migration. it depends what paper you read. also i heard when families come here they are classed as 1 unit but when they are removed for whatever reason, they are registered individually so this tweaks the figures. lollie,erith

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree