Hounslow Law Centre closes following loss of grant

Its chair criticises the London borough of Hounslow Council for withdrawing funding

A charity law centre forced to cease operating in February with the loss of six jobs because of a lack of funding has criticised its local authority for withdrawing a £72,100 annual grant.

Hounslow Law Centre closed after the local council withdrew funding to provide community legal advice amid concerns over governance and financial reporting. It awarded the same sum to another charity law centre, Law for All, which has an office in Hounslow but is based in Acton.

Ilyas Khwaja, chair of Hounslow Law Centre, said his organisation was not poorly run and there was nothing wrong with its accounting.

He said the centre's demise could be traced back to the introduction in 2008 of fixed fees by the Legal Services Commission, the non-departmental public body that administers legal aid, which resulted in a £65,000 loss of income that year; the loss of the council's grant was the final straw.

A spokeswoman for Hounslow Council declined to discuss the issue.

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