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Liverpool Advice Strategy: No wrong Door. Advice for All

As part of LATAN’s campaign to improve capacity and access to free legal advice for people in Liverpool, we are working with the Council to develop a Liverpool Advice Strategy. Below are the detailed recommendations proposed as part of this campaign.

The principles for the strategy are that a universal, joined up system of trusted gateway and advice providers will deliver the types and level of advice needed to reach people with particular legal needs and hard to serve populations. Collaboration is key to local advice services provision, so that wherever people are when they realise they have a problem that advice could help, or wherever they go to get support, a door opens up to all the services available in the advice network – No Wrong Door. These recommendations also recognise that we should aim to provide Advice for All, but that demand for free legal advice currently far outstrips supply.

Key recommendations include: - Develop a long-term network funding strategy to increase advice provision in Liverpool - Organisational collaboration to maximise advice capacity - Identify and fund independent advice in all new Council strategies and projects - Nominate a key Council directorate with responsibility for ensuring appropriate independent advice is provided across its work programme - Consult the advice network at an early stage of programme design - Consult LATAN and its members on an annual basis; using their evidence base of advice needs. - Implement a secure, digital. combined advice directory and referral system. Co-designed by the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool Access to Advice Network members in late 2022, the Liverpool Advice Strategy sets out a framework and guiding principles for the development of a robust cross-sector advice strategy that works towards a well-funded, connected and valued sector that can respond to residents’ need for advice. The LATAN strategy sets out the context for the development of a cross-sector strategy, including highlighting the limited advice that is available, the loss of funding/resources that the sector has undergone, and the value of advice to the public purse. “At present there are a diverse number of organisations involved in a person’s journey to getting advice, but there are a very limited number of places to get legal advice. (Source: Organ, et al. 2020). This advice ecosystem is limited, fragile and complex.” “The seemingly high number of organisations that are stakeholders in the free legal advice sector must be set in the context of a sector that has suffered severe funding cuts in recent years, and where the majority of organisations act only as a gateway to the limited legal advice services that remain.” “There is very little remaining of specialist casework for the more complex situations in all areas of social welfare law. (Source: Organ, et al. 2020; EHRC, 2018).” “The advice sector provides significant social and economic benefit to Liverpool’s communities and residents; for example, reducing health inequalities, keeping people in work and saving the public purse an estimated £8,000 per year for each client that receives specialist advice (Leckie, Munro and Pragnell; Pragmatix, 2021).” The LATAN Liverpool Advice Strategy identifies collaboration, a unified joined up system of advice providers and gateway organisations, and recognition and investment of the local authority as key to the development of a well-functioning (because well-funded and effective) advice sector.

Research Reports

Liverpool Access to Advice Network was formed in 2020 as part of a ground-breaking project funded by Liverpool City Council (LCC), and delivered in partnership by the University of Liverpool and Citizens Advice Liverpool.

 The University of Liverpool (UoL) School of Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) has played a key role in the development of Liverpool Access to Advice Network, through both its research and mapping of advice services in Liverpool.

This section highlights the research undertaken by the School of Law and Social Justice, as well as surveys/research that LATAN has undertaken in relation to the Liverpool free legal advice sector.

LATAN Reports

University of Liverpool Reports

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