Liverpool Law Society is to host a summit meeting to investigate ways of alleviating the effects of cuts to legal aid and local authority funding.
The Society, local councillors, lawyers and Citizens Advice are expected to meet in the next few weeks to coordinate support for vulnerable people affected by cuts in the housing and welfare benefits sector, following discussions this month about the impact caused by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, which came into force in April 2013.
President Emlyn Williams said: ‘This is not to say that we are giving up the fight on legal aid reform, but we also want to take practical steps to support those who are being placed in the greatest vulnerability by the government’s reforms.’
The Society said reforms had created significant barriers to those seeking to obtain advice on the implementation of universal credit and personal independence payment.
Legal aid is no longer available for welfare benefit advice and cuts to local authority budgets have resulted in less available funding to support Citizens Advice bureaux and other advice centres.
The Society noted loss of legal aid in key areas affecting vulnerable people was increasing the workload of local authority voluntary and community advice schemes.