Legal Aid Scheme: Coventry

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st June 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he is taking steps to increase the number of criminal duty solicitors available to provide legal aid in Coventry; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) monitors capacity across criminal legal aid contracts on a regular basis and takes action to ensure ongoing availability of advice to the public by working closely with its existing providers to ensure adequate provision.

The LAA was recently notified by West Midlands Police of its decision to close Solihull Custody Suite for a period of 6 months from Monday 16th July 2018. West Midlands Police have confirmed that most of those arrested and previously taken to Solihull will generally be taken either to Coventry or Perry Barr, depending on the location of the arrest.

Following this announcement, the LAA has concluded a consultation with duty scheme members of the Solihull, Birmingham and Coventry Scheme Areas. As a result of that consultation the LAA has decided to implement the approach that the majority of respondents favoured, namely the merging of the Solihull and Coventry duty schemes.

The LAA anticipates that these arrangements will ensure that current levels of advice provision remain in place for those that need it in Solihull and Coventry, but will continue to monitor to ensure adequate provision.

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