The Big Lottery Fund is to help the Environmental Law Foundation provide advice to communities and individuals across England struggling with environmental problems. From September, a grant of over £200,000 will give people increased access to specialist legal and technical advice, and help them use the law to protect and improve their local environment and quality of life.
Advice will be available more readily to people with environmental concerns; for instance, communities suffering poor health from badly operated landfill sites or illegal fly tipping; people affected by air and noise pollution from nearby factories; or those with concerns over loss of open space and threats to vulnerable natural habitats.
Funds of £203,314 over three years from the Big Lottery Fund will support a full time project lawyer based at the Foundation’s London office, providing a range of free environmental legal advice. It will also support the Environmental Law Foundation’s Advice and Referral Service which has been giving legal and technical advice through a unique national network of solicitors, barristers and technical consultants for over 15 years.
Sanjay Dighe, Chair of Big Lottery Fund England Committee said: “The most vulnerable people in our society are also the ones least likely to get the right advice at the time they need it. [This] funding is crucial as it will pave the way for people to get better access to advice services, to help them understand and resolve problems related to their rights and responsibilities - making a huge difference to the basic conditions of their lives.”
Pamela Castle OBE, Chairman of the Environmental Law Foundation, said: “As a small private charity that provides a large public service, we are thrilled to have received this grant. It will make a real difference to those who most need help with local environmental concerns that cause human misery and damage to the environment.”