The Community Legal Service, established in 1999 as part of the Access to Justice Act, aims to develop quality assured advice networks designed to meet local need and to improve access to information, advice and legal help. The Access to Justice Act abolished the old legal aid scheme for civil matters (family, welfare benefits, housing, debt cases, etc.) and replaced it with the Community Legal Service Fund, administered by the Legal Services Commission, the successor body to the Legal Aid Board. The Barking and Dagenham Community Legal Service Partnership ('CLSP') is our local means of promoting the aims of the Community Legal Service ('CLS'). The Partnership is made up of representatives from the voluntary sector, solicitors in private practice, the Local Authority and the Legal Services Commission.
The Community Legal Advice Centre (CLAC) is a jointly funded initiative between the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the Legal Services Commission. It is one of several such centres across the country and the first in London.
Edward Duthie Solicitors provide the specialist legal advice in partnership with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) who provide the generalist advice service. The main service centre is at the CAB offices in Ripple Road, Barking and is open up to 47 hours each week - 9am to 5pm each day (10am to 8pm on Wednesdays and 9am to 1pm on the 2nd and 4th Saturday morning of each month. There are also at least six outreach venues in priority neighbourhoods throughout the Borough.
Outreach fortnightly at the following children centres: Gascoigne, Wellgate, Sue Bramley, Ford Rd, William Bellamy – clients can access by approaching the CLAC or the children centre itself.
Outreach weekly at LBBD Revenues & Benefits – Dagenham Library – clients access by internal LBBD referral only
The generalist advice service covers welfare benefits, money advice, housing, employment, community care, debt, consumer, immigration and nationality, family and personal matters, taxes, health and education. This is complemented by a casework service in money advice, welfare benefits and discrimination. Where triage identifies that specialist advice is required an appointment will be arranged to see a specialist adviser – this can be within one working day (though normally the same day) for urgent cases.
Pip Salvador Jones
Head of B& D Citizens Advice Centre
Community Legal Advice Centre
55 Ripple Road
Phone: 020 8595 9851 or 07873476500
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of Barking and Dagenham
Telephone: 020 8215 3000
Fax: 020 8227 2806