Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville visits HCLC
HCLC is delighted to have welcomed Philip Glanville, the directly elected Mayor of Hackney, to the Centre on Wednesday the 2nd of August.
Mayor Glanville was elected on the 15th of September 2016 after former Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe was appointed a Deputy Mayor of London under London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
As the directed elected Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville is responsilbe for the London Borough of Hackney's overall corporate strategy, financial management, and delivery of services by the Council. He also takes the lead within Cabinet on strategic housing, housing regeneration, property services, ICT, communications, devolution and policy.
Hackney Community Law Centre is fortunate that the London Borough of Hackney (LBH) has been supportive of our work and the work of the wider Hackney advice sector. Thanks to LBH, HCLC has been able to continue providing a specialist immigration law and welfare benefits service despite immigration and welfare benefits' removal from the scope of legal aid following the introduction of the 2013 Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act.
During his visit, Mayor Glanville heard from HCLC's housing, debt, welfare benefits, employment and immigration solicitors, caseworkers and interns about the cases we've been working on, the challenges we face and the successes we have been having. Homelessness is on the increase, with the majority of people who approach HCLC needing housing and homeslessness advice. In terms of immigration, HCLC has been receiving lots of referrals from organisations working with trafficked people and LGBT+ asylum seekers. Disability benefits is also the growing area of our welfare benefits caseworker Marcin Brajta's caseload.
Mayor Glanville told us that there are 13,000 people on the housing list with 3,000 in temporary accommodation. To begin to tackle this situation, the council will be opening new hostels with community facilities and is set uo build 100 new homes. The council is also trying to bring as many empty Hackney properties as possible back into use.
After his visit, Mayor Glanville tweeted "Fascinating visit and timely remider about why access to publicly funded independent legal advice is so vital".
He added "Also proud that Hackney council partially funds them and that they have such a powerful local and national reputation".
Ian Rathbone, Chair of HCLC, commented: "Hackney Community Law Centre is very grateful for Mayor Glanville's support. At a time when local authorities are under severe pressure and legal aid has also been curtailed, the Mayor recognising the importance of free and independent legal advice and representation for local people is a real boost to morale. We look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor to serve the residents of Hackney for the continuation of his mayoral term."
Thank you again for visiting, Mayor Glanville!