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Disputes Resolution

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department is taking to increase the advice and assistance available to help people resolve their disputes earlier and more effectively. (85455)

In line with the strategy set out in the recent “Getting Earlier, Better Advice to Vulnerable People” document my Department is encouraging closer working among advice leads across Whitehall. This will ensure more effective referral networks are in place so that people get the service they need regardless of their point of access to the system.

My Department is supporting the Legal Services Commission as it implements its new community legal service strategy. In 2005-06 over 708,000 new civil legal aid cases were started by the Legal Services Commission, the highest at any point since 2000.

The DCA also provides funding to the LawWorks project, which aims to increase the delivery of free legal advice to individuals and communities in need.