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Erith legal centre facing cutbacks

PUBLISHED: 16:21 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:21 01 March 2013

Cross Street Law Centre chief executive Kathy Smith

Cross Street Law Centre chief executive Kathy Smith

Archant

An Erith law centre will have to cut back on services when changes to legal aid come into effect on April 1, it has announced.

Cross Street Law Centre will no longer offer drop in advice to people who have benefits, debt, housing or employment issues.

The not-for-profit agency, which currently receives more than half its income from legal aid, has been hit by a government decision to withdraw funding for these areas.

Housing advice will only be available to assist homeless people or those with rent arrears or health problems while there will be no debt advice and a drastic reduction in employment and benefit cases.

Chief executive Kathy Smith said: “We are not in plush premises and spend money only on essentials.

“We cannot trim any more from our budget and some staff are looking at reducing their working hours to help us through.”

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