What’s Going On in West Bridgford – legal news

A round-up of legal news and comment on the Barker Blog.


Rosamund Evans. Photo by Ursula Kelly Photography

As is usual when the Ashes tour comes to Trent Bridge its been tricky manoeuvering around West Bridgford town centre for the last few days and parking has been almost out of the question. But it’s all been in a good cause as England has done us proud and in the sun shine too.

The congestion and good weather spurred me on to ditch the car and walk to see my client ‘Tina’ (not her real name). Tina is anxious about changes she’s heard are going to be made to Student Maintenance Grants.

Tina is about to become a full time student. She also cares for her Mum who has severe arthritis.

Legal news – student maintenance

From 1 April 2016 the Student Maintenance Grant is being scrapped. Instead the Student Finance Package will comprise a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. Tina’s concerned about the mounting debt burden that becoming a full time student will create for her and the impact it could have on her support for her disabled Mum.

I was able to explain to her that under the proposed changes it will be possible to apply for extra financial help if you are a full time student and have an adult dependant.

The Adult Dependant’s Grant (ADG) is worth up to £2,757 and does not have to be paid back after the student’s course has finished, unlike the maintenance loan.

The amount available to an individual student will depend on their income, the income of the adult dependant, personal circumstances and any other grants the student receives. The ADG will affect income related benefits and tax credits.

If you have a disability yourself and will be a full time student you could apply for a Disabled Student’s Allowance. To qualify you must meet the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010.You must have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. ‘Long-term’ means the impairment has lasted more than 12 months and substantial means just that i.e. not trivial.

West Bridgford has an increasing amount of rented property including social housing. This week has seen a further development in the controvesy over the government’s plans to extend the Right-to-Buy legislation.

It’s been reported that the Quakers are throwing their support behind a proposed amendment to the forthcoming Charities Bill in an attempt to protect charities from being forced to sell their social housing stock under the government’s proposal to extend the right-to-buy to tenants of housing associations.

The Quaker Housing Trust are supporting a Lord’s amendment to the Charities Bill that would ensure the bill when it is enacted expressly states that independent charities can’t be compelled

“to use or dispose of their assets in a way that is inconsistent with their charitable purposes”.

After my chat with Tina I decided to stroll on round to The Point on Loughborough Road to visit Helen English and her colleagues at Hargreaves Hale where they were hosting a coffee morning.

The delicious cakes and coffee on offer were very tempting and made me want to linger but duty calls so it was back to the office to field a phone call from a new client with concerns that an elderly relative is being financially abused. I was able to explain the steps she can take to try to stop further abuse taking place.

Next on the to-do list was planning our next event. As regional co-ordinator for the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Solicitors For The Elderly Regional Group, it’s one of my responsibilities and pleasures to organise meetings for the group members. I’m excited to have secured some interesting speakers yet again for our event in October which is open to non-members and is completely free. More details about all our events can be found on our Events page.

Until the next time and another round-up of legal news and comment from south of the river…

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Image by Ursula Kelly Photography