Headlines: March 17th, 1999

A further forty local authorities have joined the Community Legal Service Partnership. Six pioneer authorities are already spearheading the Community Legal Service initiative. The Partnership provides a forum for local authorities to co- operate with the Legal Aid Board and other key funders, as well as local providers, in planning legal and advice services.

The Partnership local authorities will play a key part in developing the best practice blueprint for encouraging the development of referral arrangements between providers, and ensuring that local people are aware of, and have access to, help when they need it.

The Community Legal Service is a key element in the modernising justice plans. The aim is to set up a comprehensive network of legal advice points across the country. They will deliver quality legal information and advice to the disadvantaged and socially excluded in areas of law which most directly affect everyday lives. The Service will complement the voluntary advice sector including Citizens’ Advice Bureaux.