Law Society highlights legal aid deserts

The Law Society has published a heat map of Britain highlighting the areas of country that are poorly served for legal aid.

The map reveals that nearly one-third of counties in England and Wales have one or fewer firms who provide housing advice which is available through legal aid.

Shropshire, Surrey and Suffolk are particularly poorly served, with no providers at all.

The UK’s major cities are generally well catered for, but several significant urban areas – notably Teesside and much of Lancashire including Blackburn, Burnley, St Helens and Wigan – are not.

Source: The Law Society. Click for full map.
Source: The Law Society. Click for full map.

The Law Society called on the government set up an independent review into the sustainability of the civil legal aid system and to seek to commission a second provider in areas that currently only have one.

The number of applications for help received by the Bar Pro Bono Unit has almost doubled since cuts to legal aid were brought in by the coalition government.

Last September, Jeremy Corbyn appointed the former Shadow Attorney General Lord Bach, to lead a review of legal aid.