Paddington Law Centre is relocating, but will continue to serve its community with the help of a local solicitor’s firm, the 40-year-old organisation said today, denying reports it was closing.
Karen Buck (pictured), Labour MP for Westminster North tweeted this morning: ‘Sad goodbye to Paddington Law Centre tonight. Doors closing on 2nd oldest Law Centre after 40 years, and the service won’t be the same.’
However manager Anne McNicholas confirmed to the Gazette that the service is not closing, but relocating to Irving Road near Leicester Square, sharing premises with Central London Law Centre. Its Harrow Road offices will close tomorrow.
McNicholas said despite the change of address, the centre will continue to serve its local clients. It has made arrangements to see clients locally from rooms at nearby law firm Lawrence & Co and at tenant management organisation Walterton and Elgin Community Homes.
McNicholas said failure to secure lottery and charitable funding together with legal aid cuts have forced the centre to cut its staff by half over the last six years, making the current premises too large.
The centre now employs four solicitors, providing advice and representation in housing, employment and welfare rights to hundreds of people a year.