Participants of the press conference about the possible elimination of the municipal institution
On November 30, 2016 the regular session of Skadovsk city council took place. Deputies considered the draft decision "About the termination through the elimination of the municipal institution "Centre for the provision of free primary legal aid in Skadovsk city council of Skadovsk district, Kherson region". The issue of termination of the municipal institution arose after the creation of Skadovsk Legal Aid Bureau office, which allegedly duplicates the Center. Deputies and officials were encouraged to its elimination by the financial issue – raising the minimum wage, initiated by the government.
The municipal institution "Centre for the provision of free primary legal aid in Skadovsk city council" was established in January 2013. During its four-year existence, the Center successfully provided legal aid to residents of Skadovsk and earned the unquestioned authority among the community.
Therefore, after the appearance of the draft decision of the Skadovsk city council on the elimination of the Centre for providing free primary legal aid on November 2, residents of Skadovsk united to defend it. They were joined by human rights activists of the region: member of the Board of the Legal Development Network Natalia Bimbirayte, Director of Regional center for free secondary legal aid in Kherson region Maryna Yeliseeva and NGO "Skadovsk is my native land", who supported their colleagues. The position regarding the inadmissibility of the liquidation of the Centre also was expressed by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Coordinating centre for legal aid providing.
On the eve of the fateful session press-conference devoted to this issue was held. In addition to NGO representatives, the event was attended by employees of the Center, Skadovsk city mayor Olksandr Yakovlev, deputies of city and district councils of Skadovsk and the local community.
Human rights activists tried to convince the deputies to reconsider their position on the municipal institution, because, apart from direct provision of primary legal aid, the work of the Centre allows to make the analysis and summarize the problems of society and to shape the priorities of further activities of the city council, to correct deficiencies in the work.
"The economic basis of the institution's activity does not account for the volume of services and legal awareness raising work with clients of the Center”, explained the Board member of the Legal Development Network Natalia Bimbirayte. “The elimination of the Centre would be a retrograde step, and we need to preserve the institution, which lawyers gained invaluable experience and develop it in the interests of the city community".
With the strong support of human rights organizations and communities of the city of Skadovsk the liquidation of the municipal enterprise was withdrawn from the agenda of the regular session of Skadovsk city council. Consequently, the Center for providing free primary legal aid of Skadovsk city council will continue to function and provide quality services to the community.