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Year End UpdateThis project is now drawing to an end with WNF ceasing in June 2012. Originally set up to be sustainable with funding through the Legal Services Commission (LSC), reductions to LSC funding, particularly for employment and debt, will mean that outreach provision in Bolsover will be reduced from April 2012. Bolsover and Shirebrook outreach will continue but South Normanton and Creswell will close. However, moving into 2012/13 Chesterfield Law Centre is committed to its involvement in the Bolsover Financial Inclusion Forum, facilitated by CVP.

Free Legal Advice Archive

 

2011/12 Year End

The service continues to deliver outcomes for clients in Bolsover but the project is now drawing to an end with WNF ceasing in June 2012. This project was originally set up to be sustainable post WNF pump priming with funding through the Legal Services Commission (LSC).  Reductions to LSC funding, particularly for employment and debt, will mean that the current outreach provision in Bolsover will be reduced from April 2012.  Bolsover and Shirebrook outreach will continue as they are more active and established bases, however, South Normanton and Creswell will close. 

The dedicated Bolsover telephone employment advice has also now ceased although Bolsover residents will still be able to  access advice through Chesterfield Law Centre; the main change being that they will no longer take priority.

On a positive note, Chesterfield Law Centre are committed to attending Bolsover Financial Inclusion Forum meetings that are being organised and facilitated by CVP moving into 2012/13.  

2011/12 Quarter 3

The service continues to deliver outcomes for clients, however, the outputs this quarter for the number of people using the telephone advice line was lower than expected. The project manager has reported that, overall, demand for services during December was significantly reduced in line with other advice agencies. It is intended that delivery plans continue as planned over the coming quarter and volunteers have been recruited and trained to continue to provide front end of services.

As funding is drawing to an end Chesterfield Law Centre (CLC) anticipate the employment telephone advice line for Bolsover residents will cease. The loss of funding (alongside some temporary funding from Coalfields Regeneration Trust) is requiring CLC to reduce staff and staff redundancies are anticipated in the employment unit by 31st March 2012.

2011/12 Quarter 2

Delivery of legal services continues for Bolsover district residents and the Law Centre has been working closely with a number of other advice agencies over the last quarter. In particular, improved pathways on more complex housing debt and homelessness prevention cases.

New proposals to restrict legal aid continue to be a concern; therefore the Law Centre is urgently putting together plans on how to protect services in the future and will be consulting with key stakeholders early in 2012.

2011/12 Quarter 1
Specialist legal services have continued to be delivered this quarter, exceeding this quarter’s target. However, performance on employment enquiries is below target, this has been atributed to bank holidays during April/May but will be need to be monitored as targets for this output were reduced this year to bring in line with more realistic outcomes.  The project has also reported that additional activities around volunteering and training have been undertaken in Quarter 1 and they continue to have one volunteer who is undertaking approximately eight hours a week activity at the Law Centre in addition to attending training events. In addition, a new course (30 hours guided learning) for newly recruited volunteers / assessors based in other advice agencies has been delivered and of these new learners, two are volunteers living within Bolsover district.

Case studies are to be produced to highlight the potential impact of the loss of legal aid. It is intended that a document will be submitted as evidence to the House of Commons committee currently debating the Justice Bill to highlight the impact of proposed legal aid cuts.

2010/11 Year End

Outputs in 2010/11 were down against target.  In the main, this is due to an underperformance in outputs in 2009/10 which were subsequently added onto this year’s targets so that lifetime targets remained the same.  Following a recent review of outputs, it is unlikely that the target for the number of clients using the telephone advice line will be achieved over the duration of the project.  The telephone advice line was a new service, introduced specifically within Bolsover district to address employment issues of people in work, or at risk of losing their jobs.  It is now envisaged that approximately 280 per year will use the telephone service.

A review of outreach work has recently been undertaken and it has been decided to continue with the four outreach bases in the district.  Stronger links with the Bolsover Financial Inclusion Project are also being forged.

2010/11 Quarter 3
Progress against output targets has been down against profile again this quarter although the number of clients using the telephone advice line is starting to show an increase (86 this quarter against 43 last quarter).  The project is currently undergoing a review which is expected to be completed at the end of March 2011.  This will involve discussions with partners and main referral agencies, reviewing the work undertaken and reviewing the effectiveness of the outreach provision.

The project has reported that there is likely to be a substantial reduction in legal services available in the future.  The Government’s green paper on the future of Legal Aid, if accepted, means that by 2013 it is likely that Legal Aid will not be available for people with problems around debt, employment (apart from discrimination) welfare benefit and most housing problems.  As the sustainability of this service in Bolsover was dependent on income generated through the Legal Services Commission, partners should be aware that this potential change in Government policy could have serious implications on the longevity of the Free Legal Advice service currently available to Bolsover residents.

2010/11 Quarter 2
Progress against output targets has been down against profile again this quarter so a review of the services is scheduled to take place in January 2011. The project manager has reported that targets on opening cases through the Employment Advice service are just about being reached but overall the number of clients using the service is down against profile.  Similarly the number of people accessing legal advice is lower than anticipated.  During Quarter 3, the project has reported that the focus will be to encourage take up of services in Creswell and South Normanton.
2010/11 Quarter 1

Client referrals to the outreach service, and the number of people using the employment telephone helpline, have both been lower than anticipated.

As reported last quarter, the following areas give cause for concern but are being addressed:

  • Employment advice line – usage of the telephone advice line continues to be on the low side although participation in the delivery of Chesterfield College’s Raising Aspirations courses are anticipated to increase take up during Quarter 2
  • Appointments at Creswell – take up continues to be very low, and take up in South Normanton is not as high as expected.  A promotional campaign is planned in Quarter 2.