Free legal advice for those in most need in the borough has been safeguarded by Hammersmith & Fulham Council for the next ten years.
Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre, which gives independent legal advice free at the point of delivery to those who qualify, will be now able to continue its services for the next decade – from new offices in Hammersmith Library.
It has been given a ten-year lease, at well below market rent for the premises.
“Free legal advice is a basic human right, and it is often the most disadvantaged in society who need it most,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
“By providing both secured funding for the next ten years, as well a new home for Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre, we aim to help those who most need legal advice challenge the unfairness that can mean people get left behind.”
The law centre's new home was officially opened last week by Baroness Hale of Richmond – a judge, who is President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
Baroness Hale spoke of the false economy of cutting legal aid services, and how saving money in this area just led to expenses being pushed onto other parts of local and national government.
The law centre has been helping people in the borough since 1979. It has legal aid contracts in housing, immigration and asylum, and provides free legal advice and representation to those who are eligible under the scheme.
It gives free legal advice and support on a range of housing issues to people in Hammersmith & Fulham.
Sue James, of Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre, said: “We are very lucky to have such a supportive council, who recognise the value of legal advice.
“The huge cuts to legal aid have meant people are left without access to justice, and this is why funding from the council is so vital.
“Legal advice is transformative, it takes people out of poverty, and enables them to move on with their lives.
“We now have a fantastic new office to build the law centre and develop new services for our local community.”
Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre is open Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm, and 2pm to 5pm, at 1st floor, Hammersmith Library, Shepherds Bush Road.
You can contact the law centre by calling 020-3880 1727, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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