LOW-INCOME families are being denied access to justice in Huntingdonshire because of recent changes to the way solicitors are paid, a senior judge claims. Not a single solicitor in the district now handles civil Legal Aid cases, only two firms deal with subsidised family matters and just three - two based in Huntingdon and one in St Neots - now offer criminal legal aid services, as we explained last month. Poor people who need Legal Aid for civil (non-criminal matters, other than those involving the family) must use a firm in Ely, because so many solicitors have pulled out because they can no longer make a living from Legal Aid work. They have fallen victim to new rules under which the Legal Services Commission, which administers Legal Aid contracts with solicitors, is trying to cut down on the billions of pounds a year taxpayers spend on giving access to justice to people who cannot afford to pay solicitors' normal rates. The rule changes are aimed at inner city lawyers, whose over-supply led to inefficiencies. In rural areas such as Huntingdonshire, solicitors have had enough and have left the Legal Aid system in droves.