Thursday, 3 July 2014

Some Observations 21

Lets start this roundup of bits and pieces with some good news. Following on from the announcement that the government have decided not to proceed with the privatisation of child protection, as reported here on Left Foot Forward
The government has abandoned its plans to allow local authorities to award child protection services to private companies. The Department for Education’s (DfE) plans would have handed the safeguarding of many of the most vulnerable children in society to the likes of G4S, Serco and Atos, and it is a victory for common sense that they have been forced to back down.
Councils will still be able to outsource these services to charities and social enterprises if they so wish, but private firms will be barred from bidding the process. The DfE’s draft regulations that would have enabled councils to outsource childrens’ social services drew criticism from all angles. Leading social policy experts and child protection professionals expressed considerable concern at exposing children to the fickleness and failings of outsourcing giants, whilst We Own It, Social Enterprise UK, Compass and trade unions also condemned the plans to allow private companies to profit from the care of vulnerable children.
they have also ditched the plan to sell off HM Land Registry as reported here in the Money Mail:-
Controversial plans to privatise the Land Registry have been scrapped by the Government after a revolt by civil servants.
The sell-off had been expected to raise at least £1.2 billion for the Treasury, but an announcement in January that the move was being considered triggered a 48-hour strike by furious employees last month.
A source said the ‘staff issues’ had been a major stumbling point. Another problem was that the privatisation would have been ‘just too complicated’. The source said: ‘It would have involved new legislation.’
It's worth noting that an effective staff revolt and strike was involved, but of course it's also about timing. This close to the General Election, Business Secretary Vince Cable and the Lib Dems suddenly want to put some blue water between themselves and the Tories. Sadly, the timing was wrong for probation. 

But the march of privatisation continues, largely by stealth, in the NHS and orchestrated by GP's who now hold the purse strings by virtue of their dominance on Clinical Commissioning Groups and as reported here in the Guardian:-
Cancer care in the NHS could be privatised for the first time in the health service's biggest ever outsourcing of services worth over £1.2bn. A host of private healthcare firms have already expressed interest in securing a £689m, 10-year contract to provide cancer care at four NHS GP-led clinical commissioning group areas in Staffordshire. 
The four CCGs involved, which care for 767,000 patients, are also seeking bidders for a separate £535m contract to provide end-of-life care. Together the contracts are worth £1.22bn, much more than the previous record high of £500m, secured by Richard Branson's Virgin Care for providing various health services in Surrey.  
Virgin, Care UK, Ramsay Health and other private firms, many of which have increased their role in providing NHS care amid an expansion of competition driven by the coalition's NHS shake-up, have attended briefings run by the charity Macmillan Cancer Support, which is advising the four CCGs on the cancer contract.
It pains me to say this, but doctors have always been suspect since effectively holding the post-war Labour Government to ransom and demanding they be allowed to be private contractors, rather than employees, upon establishment of the NHS. Sadly, despite what most people might believe about our treasured NHS, creeping privatisation was assured as soon as private contractor GP's were put in charge of CCG's. 

The really appalling thing is that many MP's and Peers had vested interests in private health care companies when they voted on the legislation, and many GP's have connections to the same companies. No wonder this country comes 14th, just above Barbados and Hong Kong, on world perceptions of corruption in public services.   

I see that the National Audit Office have been hard at work looking into the fiasco Chris Grayling left behind at the DWP:-
After a poor start, the performance of the Work Programme is at similar levels to previous programmes but is less than original forecast. The Department has struggled to improve outcomes for harder-to-help groups. The Programme has the potential to offer value for money if it can achieve the higher rates of performance the Department now expects.

The Work Programme is also not working as the Department intended in the way it rewards contractors for performance. Flaws in contracts and performance measures have led to unnecessary and avoidable costs. The Department may have paid contractors £11 million in the period to March 2014 for performance they may not have actually achieved and could overpay contractors £25 million over the remainder of the Programme unless it changes its approach. The Department has recognised where it has needed to make changes to contracts. It has been actively negotiating with contractors to make improvements but it is not yet clear how much the Department will need to compensate contractors for changes.
It's a pretty damning analysis as reported here in the Guardian and serves to indicate the sort of thing that will be in store with the TR omnishambles:-
Welfare-to-work providers will receive undeserved bonuses of up to £25m even though they have failed to hit government targets for placing people in to long term jobs, official auditors have found.
The National Audit Office has discovered that flaws in work programme contracts meant that the Department for Work and Pensions is obliged to make incentive payments to even the worst performing providers. In a report released today, auditors also say the success rates of contractors has fallen. Around nine in every 10 claimants of employment and support allowance, who include many people with illnesses and disabilities, are failing to maintain a job.
The report is the latest damning assessment of Iain Duncan Smith's £2.8 billion programme which has been beset with problems since its inception in 2011.
The amount paid out in bonuses from the public purse is likely to be around £31 million in 2014-15, whereas a measure of performance more dependent on results would have triggered payments of just £6 million, according to the report. "Flawed contractual performance measures mean the department will have to make incentive payments to even the worst performing contractors," the report said.  
Talking of the Work Programme, I want to raise an issue that's been bothering me for some time, that concerning the creation of shit jobs. It's a phenomenon many of our clients are already familiar with, but of course with increasing privatisation and the 'reform' of public services, it's something that many more of us will probably be experiencing personally over the coming years of 'austerity'.

Take this example, recently brought to my attention. A woman found employment by a Work Programme provider with a community care company. She typically 'starts' work making domiciliary visits at 7.45am and 'finishes' at 9.45pm, but these times are meaningless to her employer because she only gets paid for 8 hours, ie only the time she actually attends to people in their home. She is not paid for her travelling time, by bus if necessary, and waiting time between addresses and appointments, and the cost is not reimbursed either. 

She is paid the minimum wage and had to 'contribute' £40 towards her enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. After 6 months, no wonder she feels utterly drained and worn out and ready to chuck it in, and who would blame her, despite the risk of getting a benefit sanction. 

But it's not just the shit jobs on barely minimum wages and zero-hour terms, it's the bullshit PR spin some of these employers put on it all. The employer in this instance is a 'social enterprise' in the North East called Casa 'Care and Share Associates' and their polished upbeat website 'putting people before profit' informs us thus:-
Care and Share Associates is a social enterprise which develops franchise companies in which the workforce are the owners. Employees are able to participate in the decisions that affect their working lives. In our experience, this produces a higher level of commitment to the organisation and to the quality of the services that we deliver, because every employee is supported to achieve their personal and professional best.
Our family of companies already delivers services in Knowsley, Leeds, Halifax, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Manchester.
As a social enterprise, our purpose is not to maximise profit. Our main commitment is to the communities we serve. This commitment means creating better jobs, supporting our employees’ professional development and offering a high quality, flexible service to those individuals who rely on us for their care needs.
High quality care and support is all about the workforce. What we have done is to find a way to tap into people's natural creativity and commitment, by giving them a stake in their business. CASA's approach to workforce planning is therefore about more than recruiting and training staff, it also means defining a positive workplace culture.
In developing innovative services we recognise that social care providers are now required to offer a range of support options beyond the traditional boundaries of residential, day and home care. As levels of demand for care and support continue to increase, CASA is determined to look ahead to new models of provision which will achieve cost savings whilst ensuring choice, control and dignity for individuals who use services. We have recently invested in additional capacity in quality management so that we can ensure a consistent approach to quality and outcomes across the whole group.
Our longer term strategic vision is to continue to expand and make a real difference in the social care sector.
All sounds pretty good doesn't it? In fact not unlike that favourite of the educated middle classes and Tory party the John Lewis Partnership. The trouble is they've 'outsourced' all their cleaning to facilities management companies employing people on minimum wages. The cynical failure to abide by the JLP principles laid down by the Founder has attracted the attention of several online campaigning groups with petitions attracting 50,000 signatures, as reported here in Marketing:-    
John Lewis is facing mounting pressure to pay its cleaners the living wage, as a petition lobbying the board burst through 50,000 signatures. The Change.org petition is asking John Lewis to pay its cleaners a living wage of £8.80 in London and £7.65 in the rest of the UK, and points out 650 companies including Nationwide and Tate & Lyle have already committed to the London Living Wage Foundation.
John Lewis and Waitrose staff are part of a partnership whereby they all receive an equal percentage bonus depending on how profitable the company is each year.
This year staff received a 14% bonus, but the cleaners do not receive the living wage and missed out on the bonus because they are contractors.
Last year the Living Wage Foundation pointed out the 3,000 cleaning staff missed out on a share of the £200m bonus pot. The change.org petition points out that John Lewis has contracted out its cleaning services despite positioning the brand as one that is committed to treating its suppliers, customers and partners with fairness.
It added: "Given John Lewis’s impressive profit levels, it is very troubling that it refuses to show moral leadership and pay its cleaners the living wage."
Finally, I'll end on this good news for Frances Crook and the Howard League in their battle for Judicial Review of certain aspects of Grayling's Legal Aid cuts:-
The Court of Appeal has today (Tuesday 1 July 2014) notified the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service of its decision to allow an appeal of the High Court’s decision to refuse the charities permission to judicially review the Lord Chancellors’ savage cuts to legal aid for prisoners. The original challenge was dismissed by the High Court on 17 March 2014, on the basis that the claim was not arguable. The Court of Appeal has granted the appeal on the basis that there are sufficient prospects of success.
The challenges concern the decision to cut most aspects of prison law from legal aid funding, leaving even young and mentally ill prisoners without legal protection and, in some cases, facing parole board reviews alone.
Postscript It's been pointed out to me that this youtube clip of Glenda Jackson MP savaging Iain Duncan Smith in the Commons the other day would fit rather well with today's post:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jckm3X5MXo&ap=%2526fmt%3D18

31 comments:

  1. I wish the threat of a strike by Probation Officers would have stopped the privatisation of the service. It feels as though any threats we make don't seem to have any impact. Is it because we have got no fight in us that we can't even save Probation.

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  2. Bastards are now picking names out of hats as to who goes to CRC or NPS.

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2014/07/03/chaos-in-probation-staff-picked-out-of-a-hat-for-privatised

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    1. "Treating the future of dedicated and experienced probation staff as if they’re no more than balls in a game of bingo"

      There in black and white. Precisely what our Lords and Masters think of us. I left early today, told my manager I was at my GP's but had a job interview :) Whilst I think my job is somewhat secure, I no longer enjoy doing what I'm doing and the constant stress of one report after another is just doing my head in.

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    2. categorically, in my old trust, names were picked from a hat..not all.but some definitely were and Senior Managers know this to be true

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    3. There were fears of chaos in the government's probation privatisation programme today, after it emerged staff had been selected to be moved to private firms by having their names picked out of a hat.

      An email chain seen by Politics.co.uk shows staff at a probation trust informing an employee with 20 years experience that he was selected for one of the new Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) by a random lottery.

      "Can you please advise me on the criteria of how the PSOs [parole officers] were selected between CRC and NPS [National Probation Trust]," the parole officer writes.

      "I have heard a disturbing rumour that names were placed in a hat, hopefully this was not the case."

      The support manager wrote back: "There was a random selection process and employee numbers were used to select between NPS and CRC.

      "Employee numbers were drawn out of a hat by a panel of three."

      The email chain is particularly embarrassing for Chris Grayling, who told the Commons two days ago that the claims were "absolute nonsense".

      Labour MP Toby Perkins later told the justice secretary he would raise the issue as a point of order if he did not correct the record.

      Grayling wrote back by hand, saying: "You can raise it all you like. Selection was not done by drawing names from a hat. It was based on what the balance of work staff had been doing was."

      Perkins commented: "It was shocking to hear that many staff have been selected for transfer by having their names pulled out of a hat. It's a shambolic conclusion to a worrying process."

      Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said Grayling was "plumbing new depths".

      He added: "It is an absolute disgrace and an insult to professional probation staff as well as a risk to public safety that staff are being allocated to new positions on a random lottery.

      "Chris Grayling flatly denied in the House of Commons this week that staff were allocated by lottery while the probation service was being carved up. But there’s growing evidence that’s precisely what did happen, plumbing new depths even for this government.

      "Treating the future of dedicated and experienced probation staff as if they’re no more than balls in a game of bingo is an insult to their professionalism and the importance of their work in keeping our communities safe."

      The news also confirms fears from many critics that the privatisation of probation is turning into a disaster for the Ministry of Justice.

      The department's own internal risk assessment warned of an 80% risk of "an unacceptable drop in operational performance".

      Grayling is understood to consider the project part of his legacy and is keen to force through changes before the election.

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    4. Chris Grayling cannot deny this to be true when provision for it was written into the assignment procedure issued by the MoJ. I know this to be true because I joked about it on this blog and gave the page and paragraph number. I dont have it here, as all my papers are at work, but if anyone needs it in order to slap said document in front of CG, I'll gladly look it out.
      Deb

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    5. IT may well be true and provable by asking for the records to show how selections were made. Many allocations to role that were not challenged may not have been assessed properly. In the original September documents there was a paragraph on random selection there was also the gem line that I had written about in my regular branch report to members. It makes our concerns clear at the time. Sept last year.

      Policy farce ?
      Within the duties of the JNCC representatives, a big part includes policy writing and consultation working to agreement. This is little known, outside of the drafting and agreement group, yet recently we have come under some pressure to quickly review the recruitment and selection policy. NAPO throughout the summer had resisted this pressure as we knew it would almost certainly have to be revisited at some point if the worst happens. Also the annual summer leave period saw breaks in the diary. Napo had been assured not by senior management, that amendments to the existing policy were only small in number and reflected updates of the changing legislation. To hurry this along we were encouraged to agree the changes and respond via e-mail. If ever you needed a reason to be wary this was ringing all the wrong bells! We looked at the policy and you will be glad to hear it cannot be agreed. Not only because we put it in the red alert box. It was obvious that events would effectively hold up all policy issues. More obviously any merger with Dorset would change everything.
      It is important that policies are consistent and fair with due regard to equal opportunity and completely fair process and practices. Napo\Unisons position is to maintain open and transparent selections which are testable and defensible if challenged. You can see our concern at the addition of this line
      “when staff may need to be assigned to a particular role at the discretion of the Chief Executive following discussion with the person concerned”.
      It was clear to us any a statement like this renders the rest of the policy useless. Although not taken in complete context it cannot be allowed to stand ! When looking at the current TR agenda one wonders how the author of this line could not understand its potential and the likelihood of it being used more often than not. We will be pursuing where this came from!
      During the next 28 days of the consultation process, the usual JNCC arrangements are to be put on hold pending the wide need to consult members and free your time to meet union officials as consultation time. We are attending all offices to meet as many colleagues in your workplaces. The Chair may well call for a special branch meeting. In any case you will be circulated dates shortly. Within the consultation meetings process it has been agreed that all staff can take appropriate paid time off from duty to consult with their Trade Unions. Also the Trade Union reps are dedicating their time to ensure we are fully accessible to all members in all locations. Look out for the dates to be posted this week if you have not seen them already.

      Dino Peros JNC rep NAPO.
      20/ 9/ 13

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  3. We, the staff who stood on the lines and tried to stop the onslaught of TR should not fear... as pure old fashioned incompetance is bringing probation to its knees....idiot NOMS giving meaningless directives to idiot senior managers who then try and implement these on the basis of ..."Its all going rather well don't you know.." whilst ignoring the prophecised problems that we told them would happen and tagging them as 'teething problems....CRS are understaffed-NPS are understaffed in some areas and overstaffed in another and Colin Allars, the sacrificial lamb fiddles while the mighty city of probation burns.....if you suggested that this would be the case in the 2007 centenerary year no-one would have believed it possible.....and wait until you NPS ladies and gentlemen try and sort out your newly migrated passwords...

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  4. Its shocking to know that my 31 years in the service went down at a pick of a ball from a hat. This has got to be rectified.

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  5. Please, please if you are aware that you were allocated by names being picked from a hat, let NAPO know by emailing campaigns@napo.org.uk. This is so close we really are teetering on the brink of defeat....ing this!!

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  6. I'm only seven years in but I still think the taxpayers have been short changed by training me to work with High Risk people, sex offenders, to write pre-sentence reports and appear at Oral Hearings etc, etc. All gone at the pick of a name from a hat. Meanwhile they are trying to recruit new people to do what I can already do. It's a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

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  7. Every comment that Grayling makes sounds sooo childish, I don't know why those asking him question about this omnishambles don't just dismiss him. How can he continue to get away with it and now names out of a hat fucking shyte. What next?, All I can say is that I have never felt so low as I do now working for the Probation Service and I really don't know what I am doing anymore battling with delius and oasys everyday along with all the LIES.

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  8. 18:49 is absolutely right random allocation was in the allocation process but only in respect to Case Administrators. I was sifted this way using random number generation in excel against another manager colleague who between us had over 40 years service. The Trust were advised to use this process by the MoJ TR programme team! I can tell you who was in the room at the time and they would undoubtedly confirm this. 3 other SPO with similar lengths of Service were sifted at the same time in the same way. Chris Grayling may deny that this happened but shortly afterwards I wrote to him and informed him that this was happening! I still have a copy of that letter which will be with NAPO campaigns tomorrow. They already have details of this how I was allocated.

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    1. I wasn't even given a score, so if everyone was picked out of a hat how did they score us or was that made up as well. If some trusts used the method of picking out of a hat then the whole ~Probation Service should undergo another fairer process if this split is to continue, which looks like it isn't. Also I couldn't understand why they asked us where we wanted to go and then shafted us, I know in Manchester we were told that most PO's will be NPS, but this is not what the shafting process showed. There must be some legal challenge in employment law where it indicates that they could not do this to us. Anyone with any knowledge of employment law?

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    2. I would be very surprised, if the above information is proved to be correct, that their is not some form of legal recourse as the names from a hat process runs a horse and cart through 'fairness and transparency' which is supposed to be present in such a process. However, I very much doubt that anyone will be able to get Legal Aid to challenge such a process due to the cuts Grayling has made.
      His skittles have all been lined up then knocked down in one go. I'm absolutely furious about the whole process, to the extent where very heated 'discussions' have taken place with my SPO and ACE. They have took not a blind bit of notice and appear to have forgotten about my issues. These are people who just months ago I could really count upon to not only listen but to resolve my concerns....now, I find that I cannot trust them at all. Really rather sad.

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    3. 25 years' service/experience/sentence - goodness knows how much spent on training - plaudits from high court judges and others about quality of work with high risk and highly complex cases - now CRC, no explanation beyond the "11/11" response. Having to endure being managed by young thrusting ambitious eager people with blinkers fixed and eyes on the £££s.
      Would rather shove a barbed implement into my genitalia than go back to work next week. However, a direct debit of blood, piss and pain don't impress HSBC. Thanks, Chris. Now, given you've been creaming your pants about bidders, why don't you have the good grace to tell us who has bid for where? It won't affect their final sealed bids, but it might help staff decide whether to fuck off sharpish.

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    4. Anon 20.30, I felt the same fighting the process with both managers, colleagues and Aces, no one gave a shit. I'm still the same will never bow down to the disseminating of our service, but just like you I did not get heard especially by those picked out of the hat to be in NPS. I am waiting to be made redundant I hate what has happened to the service and to some of the people whom I thought I could rely on after years of working with them. The British colonial way of divide and rule has worked for centuries but I didn't think the people who work in Probation would fall for it, I thought we all knew better and fought against it, but it continues to be good tool.

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    5. "Anonymous26 November 2013 19:40
      Anon 18.30. If you think the above is bad wait til you see the actual documentation referred to. In the event a colleague's role doesn't fit the designated assignment process and there is no local assignment process available the MoJ advocates using a random method. It helpfully suggests either flipping a coin, pulling names out of a hat or assigning random numbers. So there you have it, the fate of you probation career could be decided on a flip of a coin. Such is the depths the MoJ have sunk to.............PS locally we favour spinning the bottle as our preferred method, seems as good as any other......"

      From blog as dated WE ALL KNEW it was out there just pleased it's now getting an airing , timing is everything

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  9. mmmmm.....Andrew Mitchell for Justice???

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  10. Some names literally were picked out of a hat . . .unfortunately both NAPO and UNISON were well aware of this sifting criteria ! How do I know ? my unison rep told me before we were sifted, in fact he had a bit of a laugh about it. The unions know lots more about the sifting process . . perphaps someone at local level could be brave enough to tell all.

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    1. Not aware of it happening with our former Trust because we were told that all but 4 got their E of I , unless, of course like me you were automatically assigned, in which there was no choice, no chance of grievance or appeal.Speaking as a former union rep there was so much stuff coming at us and so little time we did not have a chance of spotting weasel words in the midst of the volumes
      .

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  11. These are extremely serious & worrying allegations........if there is evidence surely it must be challengeable.........Bobbyjoe

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  12. Our NPS teams are in tatters. We are in survival mode - not even managing to do the bare minimum. Court processes are a disaster. Allocations are all over the place. Many staff have gone off with long sick notes, others have decided it's a good time to have babies (and probably won't come back). It is unsafe. People's personal resources are running out. It's an unbelievable shambles, so news that names were drawn out of a hat is not a surprise. I can't see CG lasting much longer, he's an idiot for all to see, but the damage is done.

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    1. He may not last long but I cannot see them backing down now over this

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  13. Wish they had applied the name our of a hat process for my team, I'd have had a better chance of getting my preferred allocation.

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  14. Companies bid to take over probation service

    By Dominic Gilbert

    THE BEST performing probation trust in the country covering Wiltshire and Swindon has now disappeared and been replaced by a ‘shadow form’ while private companies bid to take over.

    Earlier this year a number of demonstrations were held as probation workers downed tools in protest over the privatisation of up to 70 per cent of the workforce.

    While many members are now resigned to the changes going ahead, there are still major concerns ahead of the preferred bidder being announced.

    This week the Probation Association issued a warning ahead of departing the scene completely in their ‘Parting Shot’. A spokesman for the Probation Association said: “The Probation Association is departing the scene at the point at which implementation of the reforms will start to bite in operational terms. As the Ministry of Justice itself says, there will be a period of transition in which teething problems can be expected.

    “We see the proposal to fragment offender management and to compete the offender management of lower risk offenders as increasing the risk to public safety and damaging the relationship with the courts and consequently the credibility of court orders.”

    Paul Aviss, chairman of Wiltshire Probation Trust, said the initial buck against the plans has now subsided after the Wiltshire Probation Trust officially disappeared at the start of the month.

    “Locally in the Wiltshire Probation Trust most people are saying they know what is going to be happening, we have some issues but let’s get on with it,” he said.

    “What has happened is the probation service is being split into two, the part which deals with all the court related matters and higher risk offenders, which will remain in the public domain, and represents between 30 and 40 per cent of all our work.

    “The remaining balance of 60 to 70 per cent is going to be put out to tender. Wiltshire will become part of Bristol, Gloucester Somerset and Wiltshire contract package area.

    “The probation trusts effectively ceased on May 31 and these two new organisations came into being on June 1. The contract competition is now well underway, with a view to being an outcome in November or December.

    “What is happening at the moment is that one of the divisions of community rehabilitation is running in a shadow form.

    “There is no bidder at the moment, but operations are still going ahead under the Minstry of Justice. During this period we have to make sure it is business as usual.”

    Probation workers remain concerned about the intentions of private contractors taking over.

    “From a probation employee’s perspective there is no option about doing this,” Mr Aviss added. “We just have to get on and implement it.

    “At a local level people are well aware of what their new jobs are going to be and there is a lot of work put in to keep people to date when we do not have answers to their questions. When you are going through major changes quite rightly people will ask how it is going to affect them.

    “Up to the end of Wiltshire Probation Trust our performance was the best in the country. I think a lot of people’s fears have been assuaged as much as possible by knowing what they are going to be doing.

    “The roles are not likely to be changing considerably but if you are trying to bring their skills together it will be difficult.

    “It is about trying to have some kind of common processes and practices in our work across the board.

    “The concern is that if you have got the likes of a private sector organisation bidder winning then they are understandably driven by profit and the motive will be towards their shareholders.

    “How that will impact work with offenders could be that a profit needs to be made out of that work. On the other hands we have bidders who are charities who have a different ethos.

    “That is the next level of uncertainty as to who is going to win and how things will work from there. That will inevitably have an impact on the delivery of services.”

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    1. Thanks - could we have the source and link please? Cheers.

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    2. For what it is worth it is published online in the This is Wiltshire .co.uk website and presumably various print newspapers.

      http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/11319295.Companies_bid_to_take_over_probation_service/

      I also see there are more resignations of directors of the Probation Association's Ltd Company, I expect a windup will follow, that whole strand of governance of probation and avenue for advice and consultation that goes back many decades is being removed, leaving the MOJ in charge ever more.

      The Probation of Offenders Act in 1907 was permissive legislation allowing magistrates to manage matters as they thought best, now it is completely centralised in the era of the Big Society and localism - George Orwell's 'Newspeak' warnings, have been completely ignored despite 1984 being a set book for so many when they studied as young people!

      http://www.companieslist.co.uk/01352502-the-probation-association-limited?utm_source=watchdog&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=watchdog-01352502

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  15. History of Probation - Extracts - The Probation Association

    http://www.probationassociation.co.uk/about-us/history-of-probation.aspx

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    The 1925 Criminal Justice Act establishes probation committees and the appointment of probation officers becomes a requirement of the courts.

    1952 - The Central Council of Probation - the forerunner of the Probation Association - is formed to speak with one voice for all employee probation committees. Home Secretary Rab Butler attends and says: "I think that your service is perhaps the most devoted in the country."

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  16. THE Scots were over 20 years ahead setting up the 'Scottish Central Probation Council' in 1931 as reported in The House of Lords by Lord Amulree, The Secretary of State for Air in introducing the 2nd Reading of the Probation of Offenders Scotland Bill on 1st July 1931 when he said: -

    " There is one further matter that I should mention, although it does not arise in the Bill. In connection with the administration of the Scottish probation service my right hon. friend the Secretary of State for Scotland contemplates the appointment of a small body to be known as the Scottish Central Probation Council to assist him with advice on probation matters. This is not provided for in the Bill, as it can be done administratively. Little expense, I am informed, will be entailed, as the staff of the existing Scottish Juvenile Welfare and Aftercare Office in Edinburgh will be available to the new Advisory Council for the purposes of its work. It will, of course, be the endeavour of the Secretary of State if and when the Council is appointed, to obtain the services of persons well qualified to assist him on probation questions. The Bill seeks to make the probation system effective. It is based largely upon the Report of the Morton Committee and on the results achieved from the operation of the English Act. The principle of the Bill was accepted by all Parties in another place, and I hope it will receive your Lordships' favourable consideration. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time. "

    Googling is a fascinating waste of time but oh how it must aid historians!

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1931/jul/01/probation-of-offenders-scotland-bill

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