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.