Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

News

Boatdwellers

We attach here a link to a film called ‘Off the Cut’ about boatdwellers (about 21 minutes long). This concentrates on the issues which the Travellers Advice Team, amongst other things, advise boatdwellers on and we are happy to hear from boatdwellers who are facing injunction action by Canal and River Trust (CRT) because CRT state that they are not complying with their “Continuous Cruising Guidance”.  It should be noted in the film that Mr Symonds for CRT incorrectly states that they are not a public authority.  You can find the film here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5upAf7waaLg&feature=youtu.be.

CCMS D-Day

This is no April fool.  CCMS D-Day is here.

A recent Resolution survey confirmed that while 82% of users thought that CCMS was not ready for compulsory use, 71% of respondents said they welcome the concept of electronic working. I am among those 82% and 71% respectively.   I am however filled with very little confidence going forwards and while I want CCMS to work, there seems little prospect of that any time soon.

T – Minus 312 Hours

In 2013, I attended a Legal Aid Practitioners Group Conference in Manchester where CCMS was one of the main subjects up for discussion. The panel of assorted senior LAA officers told us about the CCMS pilot project. I listened and took it in. A modern way of making applications? Well, it probably could be more convenient and more efficient I thought. The LAA accepted then that there were a number of issues with the system, but were confident that they could be resolved. The message was very clear: “This is a major project…we’re committed to this…we’re spending lots of money on it…and it will become mandatory, so prepare yourselves.”

Computer Says No

Computer Says No

The Legal Aid Agency (“the LAA”)  announced some time ago that it would be introducing a Client & Costs Management System (“CCMS”) by which practitioners would make applications for legal aid online as a replacement for the current system of paper application forms. Following a pilot scheme in the North East starting Autumn 2012, the system was rolled out nationally. CLP began to use the system in late 2014 to give ourselves 10 or so months to prepare for the date of mandatory use being October 2015.