Tuesday 30 June 2009

Preventing homelessness in South Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire Council have engaged Govan Law Centre to provide a new Mortgage Rights Service for residents across South Lanarkshire.

The new legal service starts tomorrow (1 July)and will only be accessible from referrals made by the council's homelessness team.

The pilot project will be supervised by GLC solicitors Heather Mackay and Lindsay Paterson. GLC will also provide capacity building legal seminars for SLC.

South Lanarkshire Council is the fifth largest council in Scotland by population. This contract adds to GLC's local authority contracts portfolio which in addition to Glasgow City Council, includes East Dunbartonshire Council and East Renfrewshire Council.

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Govan goes East ...

From tomorrow Govan Law Centre will provide a free legal service in the East End of Glasgow. We'll provide dedicated legal support to the East Glasgow Advice consortium (EGA) which consists of the Greater Easterhouse Money Advice Project, Easterhouse CAB, Parkhead CAB and Bridgeton CAB.

Our East End legal project will be headed up by GLC Associate Solicitor, Clare Burnie. Free advice and representation from GLC solicitors will only be available to East End residents through an EGA advice agency, and we will operate a local weekly surgery in each of the four EGA agencies - Bridgeton CAB, GEMAP, Parkhead CAB and Easterhouse CAB.

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Monday 29 June 2009

Job vacancies at GLC

GLC has vacancies for: a)Trainee Solicitor(s) to commence at the end of September 2009, (b) a caseworker/interpreter (with Slovak language skills) and (c)a part-time legal clerical officer. Applications by letter with CV please to the Principal Solicitor, Govan Law Centre, 47 Burleigh Street, Glasgow, G51 3LB. Adverts will shortly be placed in the national and local press.

Home Owners' Support Fund

The Herald (Monday, 29 June 2009) reports that the Scottish Government's Home Owners' Support Fund while helping 120 households since January 2009 to the present date, has only helped 1 household since the new Fund came online on 16 March 2009. In addition, almost half of the applications made since March 2009 were returned to advisors as 'incomplete'.

Two weeks ago, GLC and partners published the 'Help is at Hand?' survey report of 25 Scottish advice agencies (available as a PDF here). We revealed that 81% of respondents thought the new rules had made the Fund much harder to access; in particular the maximum 'local property' limits were prohibitive, and too many hurdles were being placed before households who would have otherwise qualified for help under the Mortgage to Rent Scheme pre-16 March 2009.

The Scottish Government has said it will keep the Fund under 'review', with a consideration of its operation taking place sometime in August 2009. Regrettably, the failure to address the undoubted flaws and weaknesses in the new rules immediately can only result in more Scottish households losing their homes unnecessarily.

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Sunday 28 June 2009

Welcome to the new govanlc.com

Websites can be a bit dull. Occasional updates and the inability to interact with online content doesn't make for a dynamic service.

Yet, many websites contain a wealth of useful information. GLC has been providing free legal resources online since 1999. Our philosophy is rooted in the notion of contributing to a public legal education service.

We've always posted legal know-how online to enable advisors and citizens to take free advantage of our practical experience; and we've recognised the power of the internet to campaign for progressive law reform and social justice. We won't be changing that philosophy.

But we have changed our main entry page to provide blog-style accessibility and a free subscription service.

Effectively the blog will sit above the main GLC website and provide us with a fantastic opportunity to update topical content much more easily and frequently.

It will also provide you with the chance to have your say, join in the discussion, and let us know if we are right or wrong! ps. If you're still looking for the old GLC entry page, don't worry it's here.

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