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Legal Advice

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what action the Government is taking to make access to legal advice more readily available to poor people. [131658]

The key aim of the Community Legal Service (CLS) is to provide greater access to advice services to everyone within England and Wales. Financial eligibility limits apply to the provision of publicly funded Legal Help, ensuring that public funding is targeted to assist those on low incomes. In addition, through the work of over 200 CLS Partnerships, and supported by initiatives such as the Partnership Initiative Budget and the Legal Services Commission's Methods of Delivery Pilots, we are devising new ways of delivering frontline legal advice services to local communities. Regional Legal Service Committees and CLS Partnerships are responsible for co-ordinating the delivery of legal and advice services in their area and through an analysis of local legal needs, can ensure that resources are more effectively targeted to help the socially excluded and other vulnerable groups.