Eastbourne residents march against cuts to Legal Aid

A MARCH against potential cuts to Legal Aid took place in Eastbourne recently.

More than 40 people took part in the march and 430 people signed a petition.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd was among those marching and said, “I am absolutely delighted to support this campaign to stop the cuts to Legal Aid.

“I spoke against them in Parliament and I will do everything I can to get the government to see sense on this vital issue”.

Alan Bruzon, the manager of Eastbourne CAB, said, “We collected 430 signatures on our petition in just two hours which is approximately four people every minute expressing their concern that access to legal advice could be cut if the Government goes ahead with these proposals.”

Sue Hennell, the manager of Brighton Housing Trust’s East Sussex Advice Services said, “The turnout that we have had for both events shows the strength of feeling that the general public has about this issue.

“We do recognise that some changes need to be made to the system, particularly with regards to unnecessary cases or cases that could be resolved earlier rather than going to court.

“However arbitrary cuts are being made across the board rather than a real assessment of the current legal aid system being undertaken.”

Trudy Allen, the advice services co-ordinator at East Sussex Advice Plus, said, “There is a real strength of feeling against these proposals.

“We are concerned that the Ministry of Justice’s proposals are lacking in evidence, misunderstand the extent and range of legal advice needs and underestimate the potential impact on the poorest and most vulnerable people.

“A clear message continues to be sent to the MOJ but it is being ignored in the rush to cut public expenditure.”