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Tough Justice: Chesterfield’s political leaders come together to slam cuts to legal aid

Tough Justice: Chesterfield’s political leaders come together to slam cuts to legal aid

Worker’s rights organizations and a leading Chesterfield law firm enlisted the help of Chesterfield’s political leaders last Friday in Chesterfield Market Square to demonstrate against the Government’s planned cuts to legal aid.

Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield joined leaders of both Chesterfield Borough Council and North East Derbyshire District Council to sign a petition against the proposals before appearing to be gagged – highlighting the thousands of people across the area set to lose their legal voice in times of hardship.   

As experts warned against the effective withdrawal of legal advice for social welfare, housing, welfare benefits, debt, employment, education, clinical negligence and family breakdown many people face losing their right to access to justice.

Most worryingly, the cuts to legal aid will disproportionately impact upon individuals and families on low incomes, with many not being able to obtain legal representation in and out of the courtroom.

Labeled the ‘Justice for All Day of Action’, Chesterfield Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and solicitors firm Eliott Mather also attended, as local organizations expressed dismay at the Government’s decision to withdraw £350 million from the legal aid budget which could affect half a million people nationwide.

After signing the petition Toby Perkins MP said:-

“People are willing to accept that times are tough, and that every area of spending has to be as efficient as possible, but the devastating scale of the withdrawal of legal aid funding is an attack on the right to legal advice and representation for thousands, of the most vulnerable in our area.

The CONDEM Government are implementing a policy whereby the right to legal representation will be entirely dependant on your ability to pay.

The government’s suggestion that advice agencies should pick up the tab will be greeted by a mirthless laugh by those very agencies awho are already struggling in the face of cuts to their budgets themselves.  These moves are grossly unfair and damage one of the most important cornerstones of our legal system”.

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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