Monday, 20 June 2016

Govan Law Centre to launch Scotland's first Personal Insolvency Law Unit

Alan McIntosh, Project Manager
Govan Law Centre (GLC) is launching Scotland’s first Personal Insolvency Law Unit. The new pilot project  will provide both first and second tier specialist insolvency advice and representation to both consumers and front line, free sector advisers who are dealing with clients struggling with debt.


With personal insolvency law now increasingly complex and also being monetised by private sector firms seeking to charge clients, who are often vulnerable.
Alan McIntosh, the Unit's Project Manager, said: "The Unit is coming along at a vital time for Scotland, as although personal insolvency is currently at a 14-year low, we can expect numbers to being rising again as consumer debt levels increase".

“In that environment, with many advice agencies, like Citizen Advice Bureaux and local authorities suffering cuts to their funding, we need to ensure there is a service where people can access specialist advice - not only as to when insolvency may or may not be the correct option for them - but also in relation to defending bankruptcy actions raised against them, as the consequence of this can often be families’ losing their homes”.
GLC's Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate said: "GLC's Board believes there is a massive unmet legal need across Scotland for specialised insolvency advice - ultimately to ensure that people access the very best solution to meet their own particular needs and to protect their homes; whether that solution is through the Debt Arrangement Scheme, a negotiated settlement, trust deed, or sequestration. We are very proud and delighted to be launching this essential service".

Mr McIntosh said: “Scotland’s bankruptcy laws have also gone through seismic change over the last 15 years, meaning they now impact on more people’s lives, with over 150,000 people in Scotland using a form of insolvency since 2008, but also the remedies are more accessible and this means the risks of people using the wrong solution have increased.”

“This risk has also grown with the removal of the courts from the process, which although generally is to be welcomed, does mean people need to step cautiously so they don’t casually walk into a formal remedy without first taking specialist advice.” 

The unit opens for business on Monday 11 July 2016, and will provide advice to clients who:
  • are already in a personal insolvency or formal debt remedy in Scotland
  • are considering entering a personal insolvency remedy or are being made bankrupt by a   creditor;
  • have either been in a Protected Trust Deed or made bankrupt before in Scotland.
Alan McIntosh LLB (Hons) graduated from the University of Aberdeen and is an approved money adviser for the Debt Arrangement Scheme. He has worked in the Money Advice and Personal Insolvency industry in Scotland for over 15 years in various positions, including as a front line adviser, trainer and policy officer. He is also a Personal Insolvency Practitioner in the Republic of Ireland.

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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

GLC seeks qualified solicitor to join its legal team in Glasgow's Govan

Govan Law Centre is seeking a qualified solicitor with good civil court and preferably tribunal experience. Experience in housing, homelessness, employment, equalities law and public administrative law would be an advantage.

The successful candidate will work from our main offices at Orkney Street in Govan. Regular court appearances will be required. This is a full-time post, however, job sharing will be considered. Click here for the Job Description for this post (opens as a PDF).
 
Please send a CV and covering letter explaining why you are interested in this post to: Candy Walker, Service Manager, Govan Law Centre, 18-20 Orkney Street, Glasgow, G51 2BX or m @ govanlc.com.

Closing date 4pm, Friday 1 July 2016Interviews will most likely take place on Friday 8th July 2016 at Govan Law Centre.  No recruitment agencies necessary thank-you. Govan Law Centre is a Registered Scottish Charity SC030193. http://www.govanlc.com/
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Thursday, 26 May 2016

4,000 objections force Public Hearing for parking around Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

An independent Reporter will hold a Public Hearing next Thursday and Friday in Govan’s Pearce Institute to consider Glasgow City Council’s proposals for a “shared parking” scheme in neighbourhoods surrounding the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEU). G51 Group objectors will be represented by Govan Law Centre's Mike Dailly.

GCC limited parking spaces within QEU to 3500 spaces – most of these for out-patients and visitors. This forced the 10,000 hospital workers onto the streets around the hospital. As a result local residents are unable to find parking in streets where they live. 18 months ago, GCC proposed a “shared parking” scheme for the area with parking meters on all streets.
Local residents rejected the GCC proposals with almost 4,000 objection letters being sent to the Council.  They formed the G51 Free Parking Group who submitted their alternative parking scheme supported by the community to the Council. The community believe that only the G51 parking scheme would effectively give priority to residents for parking in G51 area.

Locals are incensed that the GCC scheme means that visitors to residents, including unpaid carers, would need to pay for parking on every visit.  Local Shops who rely on “passing trade” also want the G51 alternative scheme to retain parking for their customers, and to avoid shop workers being charged £700 each year to park at their work.
G51 Residents also object to being asked to pay for the GCC parking scheme – when they had never been consulted on the development of the QEU and its parking provision.  GCC claimed that their “Fastlink” buses would be used by hospital workers in preference to their cars. However “Fastlink” buses ran empty, and it is understood the main operator has now withdrawn the service.

The G51 Group are sympathetic to parking problems of hospital workers and have argued for massive increase in car parking at QEU. – and in longer term – for improvements in Road infrastructure – including on/off ramps from M8 at the Hardgate Rd. end of hospital.
The G51 Group’s alternative scheme would be a fraction of the cost of installing the GCC proposals (GCC’s estimated cost of installing their parking scheme is £350,000). Local councillors, MSPs and Chris Stevens MP have all given their backing for the G51 alternative scheme.
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

57% of housing debt in Glasgow represented by Govan Law Centre under Financial Inclusion Partnership

New figures for Glasgow's Financial Inclusion Partnership in 2015/16 confirm that Partnership advice agencies managed almost £10m of housing debt for clients across the City. Of that total, Govan Law Centre (GLC) managed 57% of all housing debt in the City (homeowners and tenants) for its clients - £5,478,711 of an overall City-wide figure of £9,674,675 in 2015/16.

GLC Prevention of Homelessness Project "Rights Hubs" (funded by the Oak Foundation and working within various NHS locations across the City) prevented almost 1,000 clients from being made homeless.  In 2015/16, we opened 798 new "Type 3" defended court cases with several thousand court appearances in Glasgow, and 1,166 "Type 2" cases (requiring a file to be opened with assistance via correspondence, telephone and e-mail).

GLC also operates a variety of other services in Scotland, including our national Education Law Unit (which includes specialist Scotland-wide services for children and young person with additional support needs, including our Let's Talk national support ASN tribunal service with Kindred Advocacy), our specialist services at Govanhill Law Centre, our partnership Ayrshire Homelessness and Prevention Service with CHAP, a partnership project with Children 1st, and our Public Interest Litigation Unit.
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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

GLC recruitment: vacancy for a Solicitor (Education Law Unit)

GLC recruitment: Solicitor (Education Law Unit)

GLC’s renowned Education Law Unit is looking for a solicitor to assist in the delivery of the ELU project objectives.  The post is full-time, and funding is in place until 31 March 2019. Competitive salary offered.

This position would be suitable for a solicitor who is dedicated and enthusiastic and wishes to join a progressive Law Centre to assist in the delivery and expansion of this Scotland wide project. As training will be provided, this could suit a recently/newly qualified solicitor who has an interest in Law Centre and Education work. The post is based in Orkney Street, Govan but some travel within Scotland will be required.


If you consider you are suitable for this position, please submit your CV together with an accompanying letter explaining your suitability and motivation for the post to Candy Walker, Service Manager, Govan Law Centre, Orkney Street Enterprise Centre, 18-20 Orkney Street, Glasgow G51 2BZ or by e-mail to cwalker@ govanlc.com by 12 NOON on Friday 13th May 2016. Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
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