Since April 1st 2013, when the Legal Aid Act came into force, the Travellers Advice Team (TAT) have seen a marked reduction in calls to their advice line. Having talked to a few callers, they are concerned that this may be because of an impression that legal aid is not available any longer. However, legal aid is still available for advice and representation in the following areas:
(1) Evictions from unauthorised encampments;
(2) Evictions from rented sites;
(3) Court planning cases e.g. injunctions, high court appeals, judicial review of stop notices etc;
(5) Anti-social behaviour and harassment;
(6) Serious disrepair on rented sites;
(7) Cases where the challenge may be by way of judicial review i.e. challenging an unlawful action or decision of a local or public authority.
If anyone is unsure about whether a case is covered it is always best to check it out with us first. Please do pass around the word that legal aid is still available.
The TAT operates a self-funded national telephone advice line for Gypsies and Travellers in England and Wales. The line is available on 0121 685 8677 and is available Monday to Friday 9 am to 5pm.
Please contact the TAT about any of the matters listed above and a member of the Team will be happy to assist.
By Chris Johnson of the Travellers Advice Team (TAT) at Community Law Partnership (CLP) and Marc Willers of Garden Court Chambers.