The East Yorkshire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has won the contract to run the first Community Legal Advice Network (CLAN), in a partnership with local law firm Switalskis.
The CLAN, funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Legal Services Commission (LSC), is due to open in March. It will provide an integrated legal service, from basic advice to representation at court, helping people with the full range of social welfare legal problems.
Switalskis, which has worked with the CAB in Yorkshire for some time, will provide specialist services in community care, housing and employment law as a sub-contractor to the network.
The CLAN is designed to give residents access to a comprehensive service from a wide variety of locations, including via videophone (through the Council’s CitizenLink portals), by telephone and face-to-face advice at three town-centre locations in Beverley, Bridlington and Goole, and at outreach venues.
The CLAN will also fund a training contract, which will be supervised by Switalskis.
Carolyn Regan, LSC chief executive, said: ‘The CLAN will provide the people of the East Riding with better access to high-quality social welfare legal services. We are delighted with the outcome of the tender, and look forward to the launch of the new service next year.’
Lesley Thornley, chief executive of the East Yorkshire CAB, said: ‘We are extremely pleased that our bid to provide the CLAN was successful. The CAB’s experience, strong volunteering base and knowledge of the local community, together with the legal expertise of Switalskis, our partners, will enable us to provide a more extensive service and a much wider range of advice and support to the people of the East Riding.’
Councillor Jonathan Owen, deputy leader of the council, added: ‘The specification of the contract bid was a very demanding one and the CAB has risen to the challenge to deliver the services required. This is also the culmination of a lot of work put in by the council and the LSC to specify a service that will be of maximum benefit to our residents.’