Lawless

And the cuts continue. At a time when many people will need it more than ever, Greenwich Community Law Centre in Trafalgar Road is to close.

It’s not like it’s underused. It currently has approximately 760 cases and was the ONLY provider of free help and advice of all five areas of law (welfare benefits, housing, employment, immigration, and debt) under one roof in the entire borough.

The closest place people can go to receive legal advice will now be in Woolwich, meaning that for those in West / East Greenwich and Charlton that’s a big old trudge. Terry, from the centre tells me

“Plumstead Law Centre was awarded the contract for immigration work despite having NO qualified personnel at the time of the bid to deal with this area of advice, whereas Greenwich Law Centre did have a fully qualified adviser already in place, yet their bid for this area of law was rejected”.

There seems to be a fantasy that everyone who lives in Greenwich has a delightful six-bed in Hyde Vale to match their six-figure salary. And it’s true that there are a lot of wealthy people living in the town – but there is another side to a place that has traditionally seen whole areas of people who lived to serve the now non-existent docks warehouses and factories. We may not have the same numbers of poorer people living here as Woolwich or Plumstead, but that doesn’t mean people don’t need access to law services.

Terry has suggested people write to their MP. Given for most of us that’s Nick Raynsford, I wish Terry luck.


6 Comments to “Lawless”

  1. PiratesPatch says:

    Imagine that if all those mindless muppets hadnt smashed up Woolwich and lewisham during the riots….just maybe their would be a little money left over to save things!

  2. Sorry – are you saying that all poor people who need legal advice are rioters?

  3. PiratesPatch says:

    Erm no….but rich or poor, each council has many people from many different backgrounds paying their taxes into it, now if some chose to smash up a local area, it affects everyone, not just those who did the smashing…especially when their wasnt much money in the first place thanks to the last Labour Government….or dont you recognise that it was where much of the blame lies!

    But you take what ever you want from the comment….as is they way!

  4. Darryl says:

    I think we’ve taken just what we need to know from your comment, thanks.

    Greenwich Council’s been trying to shut the law centre for years – cuts are just a convenient excuse.

  5. Carol says:

    The cuts have been in the pipeline for quite a while.
    It is going to be increasingly difficult if not impossible for people to access advice, particularly if they have mobility difficulties or are vulnerable in other ways. There will be little if any capacity for people with complex cases to receive legal advice. The system is already overstretched.

  6. Carol says:

    I understand the decision to stop funding the Law Centre has been ‘called in’ by the council. I don’t have any further details at present.