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Legal Advice and Assistance

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many community legal advice centres are (a) funded and (b) planned to be funded by the Legal Services Commission. (213548)

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) currently funds four community legal advice centres together with the relevant local authority. These are in Gateshead, Leicester, Derby and Portsmouth.

A preferred bidder has been identified to run the community legal advice centre in Hull, due to come into operation shortly. The LSC is in active discussions with nine further local authorities about the possibility of jointly commissioning community legal advice centres or networks for their locality, with the aim of bringing them into operation before April 2010. These are: Barking and Dagenham, Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend, East Riding of Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Manchester, Stockport, Sunderland, Wakefield and West Sussex.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many contracts to run community legal advice centres have been awarded to Citizens Advice. (213549)

Citizens advice bureaux were part of the winning bid for three community legal advice centres, in Gateshead, Derby and Portsmouth.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what criteria the Legal Services Commission applies to decide which organisations receive the contracts to run the new community legal advice centres. (213550)

The Legal Services Commission assesses bids to provide community legal advice centres against a list of essential and desirable criteria. The document setting out the detailed criteria has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.