Hackney Community Law Centre cuts

Meeting: 
MQT on 2019-05-16
Session date: 
May 16, 2019
Reference: 
2019/8893
Question By: 
Siân Berry
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

In answer to question 2018/1172 regarding cuts to legal aid and advice organisations you said: “To assist them my team are hosting data surgeries to share skills on recording and measuring impact - a key part of applying for and retaining funding.” Can you offer any advice or assistance to the Hackney Community Law Centre which is facing potential closure following cuts to its funding from Hackney Council, in which its grant was cut from £203,000 to £115,000 without suitable consultation? Do you share my concern about both the process of making these cuts and their potential impact on vulnerable Londoners?

Answer

Hackney Community Law Centre cuts

Hackney Community Law Centre cuts

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Advice centres, law centres and pro-bono units provide an invaluable service to vulnerable Londoners.

I was reminded of the impact of these services when I joined immigration lawyers offering free advice on the #LondonIsOpen Bus. They provided crucial guidance to EU Londoners whose rights have been overlooked during the Brexit process. I have recently allocated new funding to further explore improving access to legal advice for Londoners with insecure migration status. This is just one of many issues covered by organisations like Hackney Community Law Centre, helping Londoners who need critical legal advice and support.

As the Government’s austerity policies continue to reduce available resources, it is crucial that services can secure the limited funding that remains – the data surgeries you refer to are supporting them to do that. My officers have also met with civil society groups to understand how we can make our own funding opportunities more accessible. Hackney Community Law Centre can contact my community engagement team to discuss how this project might support them.