BARNSLEY East MP Stephanie Peacock is backing the Law Society’s campaign to end the problem of legal aid deserts, in which communities are left isolated from vital legal support and advice.

More than half of the local authorities in England and Wales have no publicly-funded legal advice for housing.

According to Law Society figures, in Barnsley there is just one specialist housing legal aid provider for those requiring legal help with housing matters.

Legal aid is a vital means of state-funded support in legal matters for people who cannot afford it.

However, as a result of significant cuts to legal aid budgets in 2013, provision has substantially declined and ‘legal aid deserts’, where huge areas are left isolated from legal advice and representation, have developed.

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“I’m often contacted by distressed constituents forced to tackle complex legal matters without the expert legal support and help they desperately need,” said Stephanie.

“Savage cuts to legal aid budgets under this government have left some of the most vulnerable people in our community isolated and facing devastating circumstances like homelessness.

“The government must ensure that everyone who needs it has the right to legal advice, especially those who otherwise could not afford it.”