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Southwark Law Centre Newsletters


Please find here our current Winter 2018 Newsletter


 Southwark Law Centre - Previous Members' Newsletters

 Summer 2018

Autumn 2017

Summer 2017

Summer 2016

Spring 2016

Winter 2015/16


2018 AGM


Almost 50 people attended our 2018 AGM on Thursday 1 November, held at Bells Gardens Community Centre.

Sarah Thurman of United St Saviour's Charity spoke about the work of her organisation in helping Southwark residents with many issues, particularly in relation to the introduction of Universal Credit to the borough.

Tim Lawrence, former Senior Solicitor at the Law Centre, spoke about the impact of the hostile environment on the Law Centre's clients, and about how the issues facing the community have changed over the course of his time at Southwark.

We would like to thank the speakers, the Golden Girls dancers, staff and trustees, all those who attended, and all those who assisted with organising the AGM.




Issues and Trends

Human rights need support

Parliament's influential Joint Committee on Human Rights has published a damning report on the state of human rights' enforcement in the UK. The committee paid special attention to the 'unrecognisable' state of legal aid five years after deep cuts. It named this as the reason for the worrying lack of enforcement, and called for a 'root and branch reform'.

The Law Centres Network (LCN) was invited to give
oral evidence to the committee in February, alongside two written submissions. We were heartened to see the committee adopt several points LCN made in its report. The committee recommended evaluating the broader landscape of legal advice; widening means eligibility for legal aid in line with benefits; and simplifying people's access to legal aid through face-to-face and telephone channels.

Whether or not the
government's current legal aid review would deliver on the committee’s demands is not so clear. What is clear is that the committee's findings and recommendations will serve as a marker, and the government would do well to at least be seen to be addressing the issues raised. We should find out before the year is out.

Migration to Universal Credit (UC):

This is causing major problems for local residents in Southwark and the council’s revenue budget.

Only around 6,000 Southwark council tenants have transferred onto UC but 70% of their rent accounts are in arrears. This illustrates the scale of the problem for the residents and for the Local Authority when more than 2/3rds of claimants are still to migrate.

We are working with Citizens Advice Southwark and Advising Communities to draft an impact report on the effects of Universal Credit for residents in Southwark and Lambeth.  This report will be published in January 2019.


Planning Voice:

Our Planning Voice project was initially funded by United St Saviours Charity United for 1 year beginning in August 2017. We are delighted that the Trustees of United St Saviours have agreed to extend the funding for a further year.

We are very pleased to welcome our new caseworker Flora Walker now that Esther our first planning caseworker has left to become a pupil barrister.

Some of the issues which we are aiming to support local residents and small businesses with include: the demolition of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre, the impact of the building of the Thames ‘super sewer’, and the massive redevelopments planned for the Old Kent Road.


My Donate

We now have a link to My Donate on our website and have set up GiftAid for people who would like to support our work.

Please see

http://southwarklawcentre.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&Itemid=73 for the MyDonate button.

If you use Twitter please follow us @southwarklawcen

We now have almost 2,000 followers

Thank you for all your support

Sally Causer

Director Southwark Law Centre



All Change: Universal Credit Mititgation Project

Click hereere for report 



January 2018

Leave to remain with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’

A guide on preparing a 'change of conditions' application for people who are destitute

For individuals, please click here.

You should use this guidance if:

• You have limited leave to remain for 2.5 years

• With no recourse to public funds

• You are facing homelessness or very serious poverty

• You want to apply to the Home Office to get access to mainstream welfare benefits and social housing


 For Immigration Advisors, please click here

You should use this guidance if:

You are a registered immigration advisor accredited at OISC Level 1 or above

Your client has limited leave to remain on the basis of their family or private life (except under the 5 year parent or partner route)

• With no recourse to public funds

• They are facing homelessness or very serious poverty

They want to apply to the Home Office to get access to mainstream welfare benefits and social housing 


June 2017: Universal Credit FAQs

 Click here for frequently asked questions on Universal Credit.


May 2018: London Legal Walk

LLST 22nd may 2017


Brexit and EU citizens' rights

Please click here to read Tim Lawrence’s paper for our workshop on Brexit and EU citizens' rights with Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (part of the London Coalition Against Poverty).


Peckham Peculiar - September 2016

Please click here to read the brilliant feature article in the Peckham Peculiar newspaper on the work of Southwark Law Centre. 



 Privacy Notice

Any personal data you give to the Law Centre, its staff and Volunteers for the purposes of seeking advice will be confidentially and securely stored in accordance with our data retention policy (a copy of which is available on request).  It will be held by the Law Centre as Data Controller and will only be used for the purposes of considering and where appropriate conducting your case. It will not be disclosed to any third parties and will be securely deleted in accordance with our data retention policy.  You have a right to be told what data we hold about you (though you are likely to have provided us with that data) and to have it corrected if it is wrong.  You may have other rights under the data protection legislation and you can find out more about these rights from the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk

Presentation to Forum for Equalities and Human Ri