legal & social welfare news from Govan Law Centre, Glasgow, UK

GLC news, articles, events | 2008 |         

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Govanhill Law Centre serving the communities of Govanhill and East Pollokshields (opens 20 November 2008).

| 2008 news, articles & events - most recent |


Fury over Provident's 189% APR loan rate, the Evening Times, 29 December 2008.

Launch of the new Govanhill Law Centre, Glasgow


Film: Opening of Govanhill Law Centre (26 mins, opens as streaming real video) with contributions from the Lord Advocate, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, Oxfam's Louise Carlin and Janice McEwan, Chair of Govanhill Housing Association. (If you can't view this you can download RealPlayer Basic for free here).


Lesley Riddoch


Riddoch Questions, BBC Radio Scotland, 12 December 2008.  Discussion of UK welfare reforms, excessive interest rates, public transport and assisted suicide (real audio file).


Link to the Law Centres Federation wesbite


The Future of UK Community Law Centres, GLC's Principal Solicitor's address to the Annual Conference of the Law Centres Federation for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Birmingham, 21 November 2008. GLC joins LCF.


The Lord Advocate, the Rt Hon Elish Angiolini QC


New Govanhill Law Centre targets slum landlords, BBC online, 19 November 2008.


GLC backs Scottish Government's repossession bail out plan as a good start, The Firm, 17 November 2008.


Tackling the credit crunch in Scotland: what we can do to lessen the impact on Scottish households. (link to PDF flyer) Monday 8 December 2008 at the Glasgow University Union.  Keynote speaker: The Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, together with a cross-party panel of senior MSPs and MPs, and contributions from a wide range of Scottish advice and voluntary sector agencies.

Sponsored by Govan Law Centre, Govanhill Law Centre, Citizens Advice Scotland, Money Advice Scotland, Glasgow University Students' Representative Council, the Child Poverty Action Group, the Poverty Alliance, the Glasgow Homelessness Network, Govan Money Matters Advice Agency, UNISON Scotland and Scottish Legal News.

Please note: if you are a member or affiliate of one of the sponsoring organisations you can apply to that organisation directly to book a place on this conference. Otherwise all other bookings to Govan Law Centre.



Call for action on repossessions, BBC Scotland, 12 November 2008 (GLC chairs the cross-party press conference in the Scottish Parliament with the Scottish Labour Party, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Scottish Green Party, and Independent MSP, Margo McDonald, calling for urgent additional protections for Scottish homeowners against mortgage repossession). Parties clash over moves to avert home repossessions, The Herald, 12 November 2008. GLC's Alistair Sharp's comment on the increasing number of repossession cases in Glasgow (from Scottish Legal News), 12 November 2008.



UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office backs Child Protection project in Bamenda, Cameroon - GLC and Glasgow University's Active Learning Centre welcome British support - 9 November 2008.


First Minister Alex Salmond MSP


Posturing will not prevent needless repossessions, GLC column in The Herald, 7 November 2008. 

Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Govan MSP and Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing


MSP for Govan under fire over failure to act to protect Scottish homeowners, The Herald, 3 November 2008.

GLC's Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly


GLC calls for additional protection for Scottish homeowners to prevent repossession during credit crisis - BBC Newsnight Scotland, on 23 October 2008 (link to BBC iPlayer).



Govanhill Law Centre's evidence in support of the Govanhill Community Petition - the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee on 7 October 2008.


Call for Council to intervene in slum landlord housing, Scottish Television, Scotland Today, 8 October 2008 (link to STV); Evening Times story on Govanhill 'Ghetto private sector flats' 8 October 2008.


Plea to Scottish Government to help Govanhill, Evening Times, 7 October 2008.

Clients of Govan Law Centre ELU


Legal bid on 'closed shop for pupils at Jordanhill' - The Herald, 27 September 2008.  Striving for highest school proves difficult for a mother from Govan - The Herald, 27 September 2008.

Front page of the Evening Times on 26 September 2008


Do gangmasters operate on the streets of Govanhill? - Evening Times, 26 September 2008.  Government action needed in Govanhill - link to the Evening Times' Editorial on 26 September 2008.

Map of Africa; Cameroon highlighted


Leadership and the law, GLC address to the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Chevening Alumni of Cameroon, West Central Africa, 6 September 2008.

Children's Minister, Adam Ingram MSP


Additional funding for special needs services, BBC Scotland online, 28 August 2008 (funding for Govan's ELU training project).


GLC support for African citizens' empowerment project, link to Evening Times, 25 August 2008 (GLC's helps the Citizens' Empowerment project in Cameroon, West Central Africa).


New powers to crack down on slum landlords, Scottish Government to introduce Part 1 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the Evening Times, 25 August 2008.


Promise to end misery of slums, Glasgow City Council's regeneration announcements for Govanhill, link to the Evening Times, 21 August 2008.


Court case throws key policy on class size into chaos, Govan Law Centre's ELU successful case highlighted in The Herald, 20 August 2008:



Govanhill: Living in Ground Zero (link to Herald Society feature, 5 August 2008).


GLC's Govanhill Law Centre is backed by Oxfam (link to Evening Times story, 1 August 2008).


Time to get tough - calls to jail slum landlords (link to Evening Times story, 29 July 2008).


Hope for children who need help in class (link to story in The Herald, 28 July 2008 concerning a legal case from GLC's Education Law Unit).



Govanhill: £187m to bring slum homes in City up to scratch (link to Evening Times story, 28 July 2008).


GLC recruits for the Govanhill Law Centre. The first major new law centre in Scotland for a decade, and the first UK law centre to be supported by OXFAM and a major UK trade union. Govanhill Law Centre is funded by the Scottish Government and supported principally by Govanhill Housing Association and the Govanhill Community Development Trust.


GLC participates with filming for Overdrawn! - the movie: a US documentary exposing the unfair and exploitative practices of the global banking industry in the UK and USA.  Opens as a movie trailer including interviews with US Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader (and one of the USA's top campaigning lawyers).  Images of filming at GLC with members of the UK Consumer Action Group are here



Justice for sale? article challenging the treatment of justice as a 'commodity' in the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, July 2008 (link to Journal Online).




Sheriff Principal Kearney holds identifiable benefits and tax credits are not subject to bank arrestment (opens as PDF - decision from page 20, paras 43 to 53) - overturning North Lanarkshire Council v Crossan 2007 SLT (Sh Ct) 169. GLC is obliged to Andrew Fitzpatrick of the MFY Partnership Solicitors (Airdrie & Cumbernauld) for a copy of this judgment; MFY acted for the debtor and appellant.  



Is Scotland's dust behind asthma? BBC Scotland investigation, 7 July 2008.

Public meeting at Holybrook School, Govanhill


City's slum housing 'could end with deaths', Evening Times, 3 July 2008.

Housing Minister, Stewart Maxwell MSP


Experts slate scheme to purge 'cowboy' factors, Evening Times, 2 July 2008.



GLC's contribution to the 'Delivering Excellence in Scotland's Civil Justice System conference', Edinburgh 20 June 2008 (opens as PDF).


link to Glasgow's Evening Times newspaper

Office of Fair Trading to investigate Scottish property factors (17 June 2008) -

GLC has been campaigning on the need to regulate property factors since March 2007 when we drafted the first law reform consultation paper on property factors, launched the free self-help website and began challenging court actions raised by private sector factors.

In June 2007 GLC gave evidence to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee on rip-off property factors as part of the House of Commons' Poverty in Scotland Inquiry.

Later in 2007 we worked with Patricia Ferguson MSP on a bill proposal to regulate property factors and assisted the BBC Scotland investigations unit inquiry into dodgy property factors, broadcast in January 2008. 

In February 2008, GLC supported Glasgow's Evening Times' major campaign on bad property factors in Glasgow.

GLC welcomes the OFT investigation and hopes that the days of bad and poor quality property factors are coming to an end in Scotland. Meantime GLC will continue to challenge unfair property factors in Glasgow on behalf of our clients and our community.



'It's a civil matter ...' - GLC's Prevention of Homelessness Project publishes a report on the unlawful eviction and harassment of private sector tenants in Scotland - (opens as PDF) 11 June 2008.



Barclays plc to reduce bank charges to £8 from August 2008 - GLC commentary on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive (29 May 2008) - opens as Real Audio.



An expanded role for the private rented sector? GLC presentation on the Scottish Government's 'Firm Foundations' policy to the Glasgow & West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, Govanhill on 15 May 2008.

Migrant workers ripped off: BBC Reporting Scotland report, 9 May 2008 (opens as Real Video).



The Scotsman: career focus on law centres, 9 May 2008 (opens as pagesuite within browser; article at pages 6 & 7).


Govan Money Matters Advice Centre and GLC launch a new online advice service for East European migrant workers in Scotland: Witamy na Glasgow Pomoc.



GLC images of private sector slum landlord flats in Govanhill. GLC and Govan Money Matters are working with Govanhill Housing Assocation and the local community to help address these issues.


London High Court rules in favour of OFT in unfair bank charges case - GLC will be updating to explain what this means for customers in Scotland, and how this can be used to help you obtain a refund in Scotland.


Compulsory purchase homes neglected by private landlords in Govanhill, Evening Times, 18 April 2008.


GLC launches new mini-website on how to apply for 'time to pay' for council tax debt.

Roma migrants in Scotland facing exploitation, The Herald, 1 April 2008


GLC's Principal Solicitor talks to Tommy Sheridan about the new time to pay rules for council tax arrears (opens as streamed real audio).                                                                   .


Summary of new Scottish bankruptcy rules in force from 1 April 2008.


Developing safety nets for homeowners - Joseph Rowntree Foundation report from the University of York's Centre for Housing Policy and Govan Law Centre (March 2008). JRF news release.


Alan Hansen, ex-Liverpool FC Captain and Scottish football legend


Double win for Govan Law Centre at the Scottish Legal Awards 2008 - ex-Liverpool F.C. Captain and Scottish football legend, Alan Hansen, presents GLC with two legal awards - Best Legal Project of the Year (GLC's Prevention of Homelessness project - a partnership with Glasgow's Social Work Department & Govan Money Matters Advice Centre, part funded by the Glasgow Homelessness Partnership) and Best Legal Website of the Year (GLC's site).


Govanhill Roma - BBC Alba Eòrpa - BBC Scotland's Europe Gaelic news programme examines the difficulties of the Slovak Roma in Glasgow's Govanhill.  Broadcast on BBC 2, 7.30pm, Thursday, 21 February 2008.


A life in question - GLC's Mike Dailly talks to BBC Radio Scotland's Colin Mackay about life, religion and social justice (opens as real audio, 11 February 2008).                                                                 .

link to Glasgow's Evening Times newspaper

link to the Evening Times' Property Factors Charter

GLC is defending payment actions by factors & supporting the Evening Times' campaign

A major newspaper investigation into property factors takes place this week - Govan Law Centre is backing the Evening Times' campaign for a fairer deal for Glasgow homeowners. You can take part in the debate by adding your views and experience on the page links below.

20 February
Letters special: Our factor delivers a poor level of service

19 February
Letters special: mystified by role of factors in new homes

15 February
Mystery shopper bid to help homeowners

13 February
Readers help frame new laws on factors

12 February
Homeowners rage at factors over insurance

11 February
Our factor has sacked us - our flats are a den of crime

8 February
All factors must sign up to our charter
Evening Times' Property Factors Charter

7 February
New home dream is tainted by factors

6 February
My 83-year-old mother could lose her home because of her factors

5 February
How much does it cost to change a light bulb?
Angry residents want factors out
We had to pay £44 to change a light bulb
Law needed to regulate city's factors


Mortgage crisis for hundreds of Glasgow homeowners - link to article in the Evening Times, 1 February 2008. 


Don't be scammed by claims management companies - link to article, the Daily Record, The Reader's Champion, 31 January 2008.



'Tesco Law' - the future of the legal profession? GLC's response to the Law Society of Scotland's consultation (opens as PDF file - 25 January 2008)


GLC contribution to the 'Banking the unbanked: strategies to tackle financial exclusion' conference - major conference at Glasgow Caledonian University on 22 January 2008.



BBC Radio Scotland's GMS - Civil legal aid rendered meaningless to defend mortgage repossessions in Scotland (4 minutes of streamed Real Audio, 22 January 2008).                                


link to the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow


GLC contribution to the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow conference on the Legal Profession & Civil Court Reform Royal Faculty Hall, Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow on 21 January 2008.


Small claims increase penalises Scotland's most vulnerable citizens: BBC Radio Scotland's GMS (6 minutes streamed Real Audio, 14 January 2008); see also the Law Society of Scotland's online news.



GLC's website shortlisted at the Scottish Legal Awards 2008 - category: Legal Website of the Year.


Scotland's Smart Citizens (BBC Scotland's citizens' rights Facebook group) - GLC's Principal Solicitor will answer property questions online and provide free legal advice from 7pm to 9pm on Monday, 14 January 2008 (links to the Facebook Group - if you're not a member of Facebook you can join for free).



BBC Radio Scotland's Morning Extra - Real Audio link to live public phone-in with Gary Robertson, Frontline's Ross McWilliam and GLC's Principal Solicitor on the subject of property factors (35 minutes streamed audio, 10 January 2008).



Scotland's Property Nightmare - link to BBC Frontline Scotland's report on property factors (broadcast on BBC 1, 9 January 2008). Watch the show again in Real Video (opens as streamed real video).

  • GLC's short guide to problems with factors on the BBC website.

  • Feedback to the BBC - 'have your say'.
  • Link to Facebook Discussion Group (Scotland's clever consumers and smart citizens).
  • Proposed Property Factors (Scotland) Bill consultation paper (opens as a PDF) - please respond to the consultation and support the bill proposal by Patricia Ferguson MSP.
  • GLC's factors website.


GLC's Principal Solicitor addressing the 'Banking the unbanked' financial inclusion conference.


'Banking the unbanked' - major conference on financial inclusion on 22 January 2008; hosted by the Scottish Poverty Information Unit, Caledonian University, Glasgow.