"Cambridge CAB will struggle to cope after legal aid cuts”
By Hugh MorrisFriday, February 24, 2012
THE city’s Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) could struggle to cope with demand for help if the Government’s legal aid cuts go ahead, the shadow secretary of state for justice warned on a visit to Cambridge.
Shadow and secretary of state for justice Sadiq Khan talks with Nigel Brown, CAB's chair of trustees, in the advice suite at the Citizen's Advice Bureau
Sadiq Khan MP spent several hours at the CAB in Devonshire Road learning how their work might be affected if plans to axe £350 million from the £2 billion legal aid budget are approved later this year.
“Cambridge is blessed with a fantastic CAB but I am worried about the Government cuts having an adverse impact on such an important part of their work and Cambridge’s community,” he said.
“I have been finding out about the work of the CAB but also the challenges they face as the Government makes huge cuts to legal aid.”
The bill is currently making its way through the House of Lords but its critics have said it will hit the “weak and vulnerable” hardest as it removes legal aid for divorce and custody battles, employment and education law, and some debt, housing and benefit issues.
Rachel Talbot, chief executive of the bureau, said they had seen a “huge increase in demand for advice” last year and she did not expect it to let off.
“All CABs are not coping with the demand for help from the general public,” she said,