Speaking on LBC radio, Susanna Page gave a glowing account of how, had it not been for help provided to her mum, under Legal Aid, by Hanne & Co’s housing department, she would have remained destitute and on the streets. Ms Page, who at the time was without secure accommodation herself, explained how, having sought assistance from a London Borough homeless persons unit, her mum had been provided with only one night’s accommodation then told she had to leave. Having been given Hanne & Co’s details by Age Concern an appointment was then made for her mum to meet with one of our specialist housing lawyers. During the course of the appointment the London Borough concerned was contacted, representations were made and the London Borough accepted a homeless application and a duty to provide temporary accommodation. Subsequently a full housing duty was accepted and permanent accommodation provided. Praising the help and advice provided by Hanne & Co, Ms Page explained how she did not know what she would have done had it not been for the help received under legal aid.
Ms Page was also asked to comment on the further proposed changes to legal aid, particularly criminal legal aid. The main change proposed is that law firms who currently practice in criminal law will be replaced by justice providers. There will be a limited number of justice providers per justice area. In South London, from Woolwich to Richmond, there will be eighteen justice providers.
If you are arrested then you will be allocated a justice provider at the police station. At present you have a choice of solicitor who specialises in criminal law who will be funded by legal aid. You will not have that choice under these proposals
When asked her views on why should people get a choice of who represents them she replied “ if you don’t have competition or choice then what is the incentive for whoever is representing the persons to the best job they can”.
If you want to fight to the right to choose and to have quality representation then please sign the petition to make your voice heard against these proposals which will have a profound effect on you and your freedom.
Please click here to sign the Save UK Justice petition.