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Legal Aid

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reasons the Legal Services Commission permits consortium bids for funding on social welfare cases. (294863)

The “Community Legal Services Strategy” published in 2006 advocates a new approach of moving towards more integrated advice services that better reflect the way in which clients experience legal problems.

In order for providers to move towards the objective of delivering integrated services, providers will be able to bid in consortia for the delivery of core Social Welfare Law (SWL) categories: debt, housing and welfare benefits. These core SWL categories were identified as being those that tend to be most interlinked when addressing clients' SWL problems. For example, a client facing eviction from a private landlord may also be experiencing debt and welfare benefits problems. In order to provide an efficient and effective service for this client, it is important that the provider from whom the client seeks advice is able to offer assistance across the range of problems that the client is experiencing.