The Ministry of Justice has authorised the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to grant funding, through the exceptional funding scheme, for gypsies and travellers to be represented at planning inquiries amounting to: £33,496.22 in the financial year 2007-08, and £13,958.69 (to date) in the financial year 2008-09. The final amounts paid may have varied slightly from the figures aforementioned as the LSC can adjust the grant if necessary (for example if the hearing is longer, or shorter, than expected).
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) holds a contract with the Community Law Partnership to provide a helpline for Travellers to provide legal advice on a range of matters.
In 2007-08 the contract for this helpline was worth £56,540 excluding VAT. In 2008-09 the contract for this helpline was worth £61,680 excluding VAT. The Gypsy and Travellers’ telephone helpline receives funding each year contingent upon the Community Law Partnership delivering their contracted 1,100 hours in 2007-08 and 1,200 hours in 2008-09.
The helpline forms a small part of the LSC’s national telephone helpline, Community Legal Advice (0845 345 4 345).
The Community Law Partnership also has a contract with the LSC to deliver services in legal categories including housing, welfare benefits and community care law. That contract is for legal help and does not include representation in court. The LSC is unable to say how much of this funding has been provided to Travellers because it does not hold information to indicate whether clients follow any particular lifestyle.