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Govan spawns Govanhill Law Centre

28 July 2008

A new community law centre in the Govanhill area of Glasgow is to open later this year, supported by a partnership of public, charitable and community interests.

With a target opening date of October in state-of the-art premises in Butterbiggins Road, the Govanhill Law Centre is funded by the Scottish Government until 2011 and supported principally by Govanhill Housing Association, the Govanhill Community Development Trust, Oxfam and the Unison trade union. It is the first law centre to be supported by a major trade union or by Oxfam.

The area is currently served by a weekly legal and money advice outreach surgery, provided by Govan Law Centre in partnership with Govan Money Matters Advice Centre. Govan Law Centre is about to recruit for solicitors, case workers, interpreters and support staff for the new venture.

Mike Dailly, principal solicitor at Govan Law Centre, said the Govanhill Law Centre was the first major new community law centre in Scotland for a decade.

"Working closely with Glasgow City Council, the police and the procurator fiscal", he added, "we aim to tackle agency gangmasters and slum landlords. We want to root out discrimination and exploitation and improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of Govanhill and East Pollokshields."

Mr Daily said that the project had been successfully turned around in less than nine months, due to the dedication and hard work of the partner organisations and Govan Law Centre staff. "We intend to provide not only a campaigning voice for vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens in Govanhill but a means to access practical solutions and legal remedies."