“It’s so great we have organisations like GMLC in Manchester, they provide an absolutely invaluable service to those who need it most“
We will not be complicit in the Universal Credit rollout: One year on
Exactly one year ago, we released our statement on the Universal Credit rollout.
We were approached by a local Job Centre, who asked if we could provide facilities and support for Universal Credit applications. This did not sit well with us, and we carefully considered why.
We stand alongside people who are fighting the DWP’s hostile environment. We have reclaimed over one million pounds falsely denied to disabled claimants in Greater Manchester, whilst demanding that the Government is held to account for the policies that are preventing disabled and unwell people from getting the disability payments they are entitled to. We are independent. Our legal services are free, professional, and face to face.
Therefore, our response was clear: the government cannot rely on the voluntary sector to pick up the pieces. For example, if Universal Credit is so convoluted and ineffective that those implement it ask charities for help, then it should not have been implemented at all. Our role is to publicly challenge the injustices of this government’s welfare regime.
We support action for tenants’ rights
In September, our housing solicitor Kathleen Cosgrove provided legal advice to members of the renters union ACORN, who were having difficulties in their block of flats around the corner from our premises.
ACORN Manchester have since held a 35+ strong picket organised outside their estate agent and won concessions in negotiations.
We are pleased to have supported renters enforcing their rights and we look forward to working with ACORN and other community housing groups going forward.
Read ACORN’s action summary here.
Supporting the next generation of social welfare lawyers: MMU and Aquinas College
Our volunteers Marcus, Arwa and Daniel attended Manchester Metropolitan University’s pro bono and careers fair to encourage students volunteer for us and to take part in our LASP scheme where they receive training to delivery high quality representation to claimants. We are proud of our volunteers, the next generation of social welfare lawyers, inspiring others.
We also spoke to two classes of BTEC law students at Aquinas College in Stockport to support and encourage young people considering a career in social welfare law, and to explain the importance of Legal Aid and campaigning.
“We are as strong and effective as the sum of all our parts”: our AGM 2018
On 29th September we held our annual general meeting after a creative away day with all our volunteers, where we discussed our core principles, the work of our front of house team, our campaign strategy and strategic litigation.
We are as strong as the sum of all our parts – thank you to everyone who fights for our campaign.
GMLC volunteer Jennifer Devans-Tamakloe responds to the recent spotlight on affordable housing by assessing definitions of affordable, and investigating the situation in Greater Manchester’s developments. Read her full article here.
“Although developers are required by law to include around 30-40% of affordable homes in their developments, there are ways around this. It was reported earlier this year that in Manchester, none of the 14,667 homes in big developments granted planning permission in the last two years are set to be affordable”
We are a law centre run by the community, for the community. This means we need your support. If you have a fundraising idea, let us know at email@example.com. Please consider making an individual donation by clicking here.
4 things you can do to help Greater Manchester Law Centre
- You can donate and/or set up a standing order to help fund our key legal services
- Get involved by either volunteering, becoming a member, a supporter, or if you are an organisation, you can affiliate with us. Go to the Get involved tab on the home page.
- For those of you on Twitter, follow us, RT or quote us and hashtag #WhyWeNeedGMLC or #FreeAccesstoJustice. If you are on fb follow our page and share our posts.
- Ask for a letter of support from your local councillor/MP/community organisation/trade union branch and send it in to us.
All the very best,
Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC)
Phone 0161 769 2244 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org
GMLC is run by the community for the community and your contributions are vital in securing key, free face-to-face advice and representation services as well as for fighting together for free access to justice.