APG on legal aid - Wednesday 18 March 5-6pm
The next meeting of the All Party Group on legal aid will focus on civil legal aid cuts.
We would be very grateful if you could email your MP to ask them to attend. You can find some text for a draft email below, but please amend it to give your personal views. You can copy this into a message via this site which also will tell you who your MP is if you enter your address details: https://www.writetothem.com
Dear [NAME OF MP]
I am writing to ask you to attend the next All Party Group on Legal Aid meeting in Committee Room 11 on Wednesday 18 March 2015, between 5 and 6 pm.
Access to justice is very important to me so I hope that you can attend to hear the important issues being discussed.
The meeting will consider the impact of changes to civil legal aid with a speaker from the body that scrutinises government spending on behalf of Parliament.
Oliver Lodge from the National Audit Office, will speak about their recent report “Implementing reforms to civil legal aid”. The report:
- Estimated that the cuts brought in by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act could reduce spending on civil legal aid by £300 million p.a. and that the Ministry of Justice was exceeding spending reduction forecasts by £32 million.
- Found that the changes to civil legal aid have the potential to create wider costs (within the Ministry of Justice and elsewhere in government), but that the Ministry of Justice had not estimated the scale of most of these because it did not have a good understanding of how people would respond to the changes.
- Stated that the Ministry of Justice does not know whether or not all those eligible for legal aid are able to access it. The NAO mapped the number of face-to-face case starts in each local authority area and found that there were 14 local authority areas where no face-to-face civil legal aid work was started in 2013-14.
(Read the report here: www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Implementing-reforms-to-civil-legal-aid1.pdf).
There will also be other speakers invited to attend.
I understand that you are very busy, but I would be very grateful if you can go to the meeting for any part of it. You are welcome to drop by whenever is convenient.
If you are able to come, it would be very helpful if you could email email@example.com to let the organisers know.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
[NAME AND ADDRESS]