LAU Shan-ching has been granted Legal Aid to try to overturn the Government's decision to bar him from the district board elec-tion. The decision was made just hours after Mr Lau went to see the Director of Legal Aid, Lady Cheung Cheng Po-lin, to apply for sufficient funds to mount his appeal for a judicial review of his case. The vice-chairman of the Bar Association, Gladys Li, has agreed to represent Mr Lau in court. Mr Lau, who earns about $9,000 a month as a social worker in a centre for the handicapped, must pay $6,300 of his legal costs, because his income exceeds Legal Aid's ceiling of $61,000 a year. He said he had been advised to go for a judicial review of the decision rather than to file an election petition after next month's election. Acting Governor Anson Chan Fang On-sang and Boundary and Election Commission Chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing both urged Mr Lau to follow the proper channels - by filing an election petition - to resolve the controversy. If the petition succeeded, a by-election would be held for his constituency and Mr Lau would be eligible to contest that. But Mr Lau said Mrs Chan's comment was misleading, because there were other channels of challenging the decision. The Legal Aid Department's decision showed there was legal merit in his application for a judicial review. United Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan, Mr Lau's solicitor, said Mr Lau would apply in the next few days for a review in the hope that he would still be able to contest the September 18 election. ''I'm quite confident that Mr Lau will succeed and that he will be allowed to stand as a candidate for the district board,'' said Mr Ho. As long as the matter was disposed of in August there would be sufficient time for Mr Lau to make arrangements to stand as a candidate, he said. ''This will avoid the need to vote again.'' Mr Lau emphasised that he was mounting the challenge as a matter of principle. ''I'm the first political prisoner in Hong Kong to take part in an election. I don't want to be deprived of my rights,'' he said. ''I have visited many families. Most of them support me. So I have great confidence of winning the poll.''