Ok so we read the posts and we do what we can-but what if you haven't done anything yet because you are too busy. Why not agree that you will just do 5 mins a day to help save legal aid. Here's a list of the MP's and their e-mail addresses. Why not spend 5 minutes a day e-mailing some of them-a short e-mail will do-it all helps
Reminder that the best way to draw the effect of legal aid cuts to MP's attention is to email them the LAG breakdown showing them how much legal aid funding and how many people will lose out in their area. We probably need to be emailing all of them to remind them as well as contacting their local papers and Councillors.
It can be referred to for a glance at what LAG are predicting in your area.
Jman: It would be great if you could let me know exactly which set of stats LAG used when working out these scope reductions. I've hunted around to find them but can only locate their use of the 2008/2009 figures. The ones we need are 2009/2010 for all SWL categories which I've not yet had time to track down from the LSC contract awards? It's holding me up from completing a couple of new threads.
I don't know the answer to that one Nick. However Steve Hynes of LAG is on ilegal so you might be able to e-mail him for the answer. Alternatively, you might be able to get the contact details from LAG's website.
Reminder that even though the government has been defeated on some of the social welfare law aspects of the bill, the bill has still to return to the Commons and so it is absolutely crucial to write to and lobby your MP again on the legal aid cuts, particularly if they were one of the Lib Dem MP's who voted previously in the Commons to support social welfare law.
15 days to go. Have you written/rewritten to your MP yet? Here's a letter on their blog from a volunteer nurse to their MP opposing the legal aid cuts
"Sunday, 1 April 2012
Support for legal Aid
P of M has been mostly busy writing more letters (and hopeing for a postive result) - this one is for my local MP... but dont hold out much hope, since he is a Tory (well what do you expect i live in kent)
I am writing to you as a concerned local constitute and also as a volunteer for local community legal aid advice services. My concern is the current Legal Aid Bill and proposed budget cuts which are going through parliament at this present moment of time.
I enjoy my volunteer work because it allows me to put something of myself back into the community in which I live; but I also find myself frustrated when I come across members of the public and I cannot help them with their particular problem, because current funding does not exist beyond giving some basic initial advice from an unqualified volunteer such as myself.
Often, very basic advice is all a member of the public needs to resolve a particular issue such housing, debt, consumer, family welfare or perhaps employment problems; however sometimes, needs can be of a more extensive nature which goes beyond my knowledge and experience and indeed remit as an unpaid volunteer.
This is a problem because it creates a legal justice deficit that goes to the very core of living in a civil society with a strong rule of law. This evidently does create a bad undercurrent in our society which results in members of the public losing respect in the legal justice system, as a fair process of redress, and perhaps also goes half way to explain why so many people (especial young people) feel much disengagement and apathy towards politics in general.
As an extreme example, I would refer you to the independent report, by the Riots Communities and Victims Panel, into last summer’s disruptions.
What I am basically saying is that this government cannot continue to rely on the good will of people such as myself, if the government in turn, continues on its present course and cuts an estimated £350 million from the legal aid budget. I volunteer approximately 10 hours of my free time every week, and I also hold down a busy full-time job as an NHS nurse – I can only perform well in my volunteer role because I fully rely upon people who are (not unpaid volunteers) and work full time as paid managers, case workers and legal aid lawyers.
I understand the current policy to make budget cuts, but the current proposed legislation is also poorly thought out using blanket measures to cut costs at the expense of something which corrodes the very fabric of our civil society – the real expense in legal aid is the vast and complex bureaucracy used to administer funding, this is totally inefficient for the tax payer and results in lower levels of good legal advice and advocacy reaching the people who need it most.
Finally, as a member of parliament who holds consultation with local constituents, I would strongly urge you to at least read the executive summery of this document written by the Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) – see document attached – since I feel the repercussions will directly effect you as a member of parliament.
13 days to go-have you written/re-written to your MP? Reminder of the breakdown of legal aid cuts area by area-let them know how many people are losing out in their constituency. Link below. Also YLAL are advising people to take their report on the affect on MPs on the legal aid cuts if they go to see MPs