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Email: mail@castlemilklawcentre.co.uk

Law Centre Annual Plan 2024-25





1          Introduction


This Annual Plan is a specificapplication of the Project Plan 2023-26. It takes into account the same issues but applied to one year.  


The aims and objectives are the samebut there is specific provision made in regard to the work to be done for theperiod current to this plan.  


2          Casework


           a          Housing


Over the period from April 2024 toMarch 2025 we expect there to be an increase in rent arrears and mortgagearrears and also an increase in clients presenting as homeless.  


We shall monitor the number ofhousing cases we are taking on.  It islikely that these will be in excess of those which one solicitor cancomfortably deal with.  We shall utiliseother solicitors and resources as necessary to deal with this and inform theLegal Aid Board of the excess demand.  Inparticular we shall look at homelessness cases. The Council in Glasgow has declared an emergency in housing and part ofthis is due to there being insufficient housing for the numbers of potentialtenants and potential house purchasers seeking accommodation. This is likely tohave a number of effects, not least of which will be an increase in rents,specifically in the private sector.  Theongoing effect of the cost-of-living crisis and high interest rates will alsoresult in an increased number of homeowners being unable to meet currentmortgage payments.  


All of this means that there areparticularly high demands in regard to our housing law services.  


We are also facing an increaseddemand from tenants both in the social sector and the private sector who havedisrepair problems, specifically dampness problems.  We shall seek funding to develop this into a  particular project in order to meet thisdemand and help these tenants.  


           b          Debt


The Law Centre started its Cost-of-LivingCrisis Project during 2023 with specific regard to the financial problems facedby potential clients in south east Glasgow. We have already attracted funding from the Scottish Government throughtheir Investing in Communities Fund.  Weare working with Castlemilk CAB on this. We also have funding from the Trussell Trust and Independent Age.   This has enabled us to take on a trainee whowill also help with this project. Accordingly there are at least three solicitors at the Law Centredealing with this together with two members of staff at the CAB.


We shall identify clients withparticular problems and analyse their financial needs, controlling debtproblems where possible and identifying the shortfall between the items ofexpenditure which they should find essential, and what they can actually afford.  We shall highlight how far clients’ currentincome falls short of essential expenditure.


This will be an ongoing programme ofwork during 2024.  


We shall also maximise clients’benefits where possible.  


           c          Benefits


We shall continue our work in regardto welfare benefits, ensuring that clients are receiving all benefits they areentitled to. This will involve claims, mandatory reconsiderations and appealsto the Upper Tribunal and beyond if necessary. We shall identify clients whoare disabled and claim disability benefits on their behalf, and also clientswho are able bodied, and need help with benefits such as Universal Credit.  


We will seek additional fundingalong with others to improve work for clients in particular who aredisabled.  


           d          Other areas


We shall identify types of clientswho need particular help at the moment. This may include in particular clients with disabilities.  We already have carried out a great deal ofwork in regard to Powers of Attorney and we are looking to develop this area ofwork.  


3          EnvironmentalFactors and Context


           a          National Trends


We shall highlight the particularproblems faced by clients with a view to attracting further funding forourselves and other similar agencies to meet these needs.  In particular it is likely that the ScottishGovernment will introduce a Legal Aid Bill during 2024 and we shall work withothers to ensure that Legal Aid continues, and meets the needs of those withthe greatest difficulties.  


We shall also monitor any changes atUK Government level with a view to ensuring that the needs of our clients arerecognised in regard to any changes in Government expenditure.  


           b          Community needs


We shall continue to work withothers and monitor the needs of those living in our local communities.  We shall identify the communities in greatestneed and seek to take on cases from clients with the greatest difficulties.  


We shall continue to work inCastlemilk with Castlemilk CAB, Castlemilk Credit Union, Castlemilk CommunityCouncil and all the other local groups and agencies, including the HousingAssociations.  


We shall continue to provideservices as far as possible across south east Glasgow and work with otheragencies in the Glasgow Advice and Information Network in this regard.  


We shall continue with our work inToryglen and ensure that we do what we can to enable the continuation of theToryglen Community Base and the constituent groups located there.  


We shall also continue to work atGlasgow South East Foodbank along with Castlemilk and Bridgeton CABs.  


4          OperationalRequirements


           a          Staffing Requirements


We shall continue to look forincreased resources in order to engage more staff and seek to maximise theremuneration of current staff.  


           b          Managerial Provision


We shall monitor the managerialrequirements for the Law Centre and identify any opportunities for providinggreater managerial input for the Law Centre as a whole.


           c          Technological Change


We are in the process of changingour IT maintenance provision.  Thisshould enable us to run our digital systems more effectively.  


We shall also monitor the ongoingimprovement in technological provision, including the introduction of AI andthe effect this has on our work.  


5          Finances


We shall monitor finances on amonthly basis.  Detailed financialinformation is contained separately.  


6          Premises/





6          Premises


We shall seek to maintain and seekto improve our Castlemilk premises. Longer term we hope to have the CAB working more closely with us andhave improved premises for Castlemilk Credit Union.


We shall continue our commitment atToryglen and ensure that these premises are as secure as possible.  


We shall continue our work atGovanhill at the Foodbank which is due to be relocated to the GovanhillWorkspace during 2024.