Lack of legal support highlighted in report

A person signing a document
The report says most advice services in Surrey are unaccredited and describes the county as a "legal aid desert"

Vulnerable people in Surrey are missing out on justice due to a lack of legal aid and advice, a report says.

Most advice services in Surrey are unaccredited and the county is a "legal aid desert," the study from South West London Law Centres (SWLCC) says.

The report also outlines a shortage of legal support for unaccompanied child asylum-seekers.

The document shows that most social welfare advice is provided by voluntary or not-for-profit agencies, with Citizens Advice taking the leading role, but there is a lack of specialist legal services.

Poorer families in Surrey miss out on legal help for special educational needs, when wealthier parents pay solicitors and drop out of group claims, it says.

Additionally, there are only 10 initiatives providing employment advice in Surrey, excluding job centres.

Seven out of 10 of the services in the county are unaccredited.

Stacey Edgar, deputy CEO at SWLCC, said: "We're pushing to fill these gaps because access to justice shouldn't depend on where you live or what you can afford."

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