The Council does not offer legal advice directly to residents or local businesses.
However, there are a number of local and national organisations that do provide this service, including Citizens Advice Bureaux.
Community Legal Advice is a free and confidential legal service for the general public, paid for by legal aid. It is completely separate from the council, and is funded nationally by the Legal Services Commission and partnerships with independent advice agencies and solicitors.
Consumer Support Network
Consumer advice agencies are working together as a group to develop a network plan to ensure that good quality consumer advice is accessible by the whole community. The Consumer Support Networks (CSNs) initiative, encourages consumer advice providers to join-up their services and provide consumers, wherever they live, with reliable, timely and quality assured advice.
Consumer advice needs to reflect today's complex and fast-changing marketplace. It must take account of developments such as the growth of internet shopping and the often complicated ways that goods and services are sold. We would expect advice available to cover:
- what to look out for when buying goods and services
- consumers' rights and obligations when buying goods and services
- how to obtain redress when things go wrong
- Consumer Support Networks and the Community Legal Service are complementary initiatives
An important principle of the Community Legal Service is that of simple referral to the right part of the network. If the first organisation you contact cannot help, they should be able to refer to another organisation that can. Community Legal Service Partnerships will ensure that advice providers in their area take part in a referral network and strongly encourage providers to apply for the Community Legal Service (CLS) Quality Mark.
One of the ways to improve access to, and delivery of legal and advice services in the community is by setting up and running referral networks. Effective referral is also one of the requirements of the CLS Quality Mark. We want people to recognise a certain standard of legal information and help.
When you see an organisation that displays the CLS logo, you know that organisation meets certain quality standards. If a Community Legal Service provider is unable to deal with all aspects of your problem, it can refer clients to another Quality Marked organisation.
Financial Deputy and Appointee Section (FiDAS)
The Council does provide a Financial Deputy Service in certain cases (previously known as Receiverships), but it does not act as an Attorney for clients for either general or specific Power of Attorney, or Enduring Power of Attorney.
The Receiverships section is now known as FiDAS following the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act on 1 October 2007.
Further information about the Mental Capacity Act can be obtained from the Office of the Public Guardian. Details are as follows :
Office of the Public Guardian
2 Junction Road
London N19 5SZ
Website : www.publicguardian.gov.uk
Email : email@example.com
Customer services : 0845 330 2900
Fax : 0207 664 7785
Text phone : 0207 664 7745 ( (this is intended for people who are hearing impaired)
In certain, specific situations, a nominated officer of the Council can act as Financial Deputy following a referral from either Social Services or the Mental Health services. Further information can be obtained from the FiDAS manager :
Mrs Shirley Dudeney
Room 008 Waltham Forest Town Hall
London E17 4JF
Tel : 0208 496 4527
Email : Shirley.firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax : 0208 496 4897