Spend a good part of the day going through the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, for which I will be leading for the Lib Dems when it goes through its committee stage in Parliament.
Committee is where legislation is scrutinised line by line. It’s a bit like being a lawyer having to argue the case for each point. Well many of them are lawyers in the Commons – but not me, so am preparing carefully. (The Parliament website has an explanation of how bills go through Parliament and what the stages are).
Then to the Tottenham Law Centre to address their AGM. Interestingly enough they have a motion to change the name to ‘Haringey Law Centre’ as it does serve a much wider catchment than just Tottenham, including serving people in my own constituency. Really good to talk to everyone as so much of the angst that walks through my surgery door is about housing or immigration. Once an individual falls foul of the system in either of these areas (which is easy to do) it isn’t long before it is a legal matter over eviction or deportation. And that’s when I send them onto the CAB or the Tottenham Law Centre. Legal advice is so vital and so expensive, and there has been such a cut back to legal aid, that law centres and citizens’ advice bureaus are absolutely vital!