Westminster debate on Hull's legal representation services

Hull North MP Diana Johnson has secured a House of Commons debate on Wednesday 3 May on the shortage of legal representation services in Hull.

The MP is calling for a replacement for the services that were provided by the former Humberside Law Centre, until it was closed last year when three councils around Hull - the East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire - withdrew from joint funding arrangements with Hull City Council.

This led to Humberside Law Centre closing in March 2005, after 15 years of service. In this time the Law Centre, its main office based in Hull's Alfred Gelder Street, had dealt with many employment, housing, consumer, immigration and welfare cases for local people, including winning a landmark legal case in 1994 that secured compensation for sacked Hull trawlermen.

The Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, Minister of State for Constitutional Affairs, will be representing the Government in this Westminster Hall debate.

Diana Johnson MP said: "Access to legal advice and representation should be available to all who suffer injustice or discrimination in employment, housing, immigraton and other areas not just those who can afford to buy it.

"Since Humberside Law Centre closed last year, Hull has had a deficiency of specialised legal representation. This professional service cannot be provided across all areas of law by trade unions or bodies such as the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

"I am raising this issue at Westminster to assist the process of identifying a source of funding that will restore and safeguard a community Law Centre in Hull. Only then will the principle of equality before the law be a reality for many Hull people."