first_imgFour out of five adults in England and Wales would be unable to pay for a lawyer were they accused of a crime, according to a survey of the likely impact of the government’s planned legal aid cuts.They would have to represent themselves or even remortgage their homes, it revealed.A Populus poll commissioned by the six bar circuits and Criminal Bar Association showed that, under the reforms, 80% of adults would be unable to afford the average £10,000 legal fees incurred for a three-day trial, and would be forced to represent themselves.Of the 2,036 adults who took part, 75% said that a person accused of a crime who cannot afford to pay their legal fees should be entitled to financial help.As the government, and justice secretary Chris Grayling (pictured), plan to introduce wide-ranging cuts to legal aid, including a £37,500 eligibility cap, 64% of respondents said there would be more miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions as a result.More than half, 60%, said the cuts would hit those on middle incomes hardest.Asked if they would be comfortable being represented by G4S or Eddie Stobart, 16% and 20% respectively said they would be.Commenting, the leader of the North East Circuit, Alistair MacDonald QC, said the results show that many Britons will be faced with ‘financial ruin’ if they are put in a position were they have to defend themselves in a criminal court.He said the £37,500 household disposable income cap for legal aid eligibility will hit ‘hard-working families’ the hardest, many of whom could have to remortgage their homes.MacDonald said: ‘The losers will be law-abiding citizens on modest incomes who defend their homes against intruders, accidentally clip a cyclist in their cars, or who are simply among the many each year accused of crimes they haven’t committed.’If the proposals are implemented, those who qualify for legal aid will lose the ability to select their lawyer and will instead be allocated one by the state. MacDonald said this would render the ‘globally renowned’ British criminal justice system ‘unrecognisable’. Join our LinkedIn Legal Aid sub-grouplast_img read more

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first_imgMr McCartney added: Participation in this unique summer school has increased every year with over 40 children taking part last year.  This February, a weekend residential course at Ringford will also take place with over 20 children expected to attend. “It was wonderful to learn more about the important work of the Piping and Drumming Academy.  Being in a pipe band gives young people a wide range of skills. It encourages teamwork, builds confidence and friendship and it can also open the door to travel opportunities and paid employment in the future. The SWSPDA is a Charitable Trust that was founded in 2013.  The aim of the trust is to ‘increase participation in and raise enthusiasm for piping and drumming in the South West of Scotland’. “Piping and drumming are an important part of our heritage but they must also be in Scotland’s cultural future.  In order to guarantee that pipe bands continue, our children and young people must be given the opportunity to learn to play the instruments and the SWSPDA does just that. It is clear that without the work that they are doing across our region’s schools and in our communities, we would see the number of skilled pipers and drummers fall.” “Our aim is to work with pipe bands and schools, and also directly with youngsters, to build both motivation and ability.  Our ‘Piper in Residence’, Callum Moffat, who is one of our tutors, demonstrates with his competition successes, both individually and with the Scottish Power Pipe Band, just what can be achieved.”center_img Commenting on the meeting, Mr Arkless said: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn Dumfries and Galloway MP Richard Arkless has met with Andrew McCartney, Chair of South West Scotland Piping and Drumming Academy (SWSPDA), to find out more about the important work that they do to expand the availability of drumming and piping tuition to young people across the region. As well as working directly with pipe bands and schools to give piping and drumming lessons, the SWSPDA also holds an annual residential summer school at the Barony College.  Over the course of a week, the children are given high quality piping tuition, with the opportunity for both beginners and more established players to work towards recognised Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) qualifications.  The week culminates in a concert held for the children’s families and friends, giving the children the opportunity to show off some of what they have learned during their week at the Barony. To find out more about SWSPDA, please visit their website at read more

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first_imgMohamed Salah will not face any FA action for the incident which led to Liverpool’s penalty in the 4-0 win over Newcastle.Liverpool were awarded the penalty two minutes into the second half after referee Graham Scott judged Salah had been pulled back by Paul Dummett.A section of the media understands that Salah’s reaction to being pulled back did not reach the required threshold for “attempting to deceive the referee” and so the Egyptian will not face retrospective action.Salah scored from the spot to put Liverpool 2-0 up at Anfield after Dejan Lovren’s stunning 11th-minute half-volley had given the Premier League leaders a half-time lead.Goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho gave Liverpool an emphatic win and allowed them to open up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, ahead of games against Arsenal on Saturday and Manchester City on January 3.Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez had labelled the penalty award “soft” and a crucial moment in Wednesday’s game.Speaking to Sky Sports he said, “The soft penalty in the game made the difference, we were in the game 1-0 at half-time, but when we conceded the second goal it was more difficult for us to react against a very good team.“The second goal was crucial, it gave them more confidence and was more difficult for us, you have to take more risks, be more open then you make more mistakes and pay for that.”Relatedlast_img read more

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