Dear Ian, Dean, Yvonne and Chris,
This is extremely important and I hope that you can get back to me as soon as possible. As I am sure you are aware, Napo members are increasingly upset and desperate about the stalling of any meaningful action on a Judicial Review and they are now realising that there is little realistic chance of the union's leadership having any positive news on this issue. It has seemed to many members as if this were our last chance to mount a legal challenge and, as share sale approaches, the lack of hope is now stirring up passions. I think I mentioned the necessity of hope in our first ever conversation and it is now well and truly fading.
There are a number of reasons put forward as to why a legal challenge has stalled and these include saving the money for redundancy payments and the possibility of a merger with another union. As you can imagine, this is no comfort for Probation workers losing their career and livelihood and ultimately, means there will be no Napo as well. It is also now known how much money has been spent in legal fees, with little to show for it. I believe there is increasing evidence that the argument that it is too risky and you do not want to waste members' money is not finding agreement with the membership. Although not consulted on for a view, believe me people are desperate to spend their subs on a chance of stopping this nightmare.
I am afraid to say that a head of steam is gathering for a vote of no confidence in the General Secretary at the AGM because the members feel so let down by the leadership. In my view this would be disastrous and a public relations gift to our enemies like Chris Grayling. In my view this must be avoided at all costs and for this reason I feel it's vital that Napo urgently seeks a second legal opinion in order to calm the membership and offer some real hope that something can be done.
I know that both Edward and Dean have spoken to Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx and he has indicated that he is willing to brainstorm ideas for a Judicial Review with a group that includes myself and Dean. He would need all the legal advice and information sent to him before the meeting and he has costed this at £5000. This strikes me as a very sensible and positive way forward that will help to defuse the high level of ill-feeling and mistrust that is clearly growing. It is common practice for organisations such as Napo to ask for a second opinion and I believe this offer should be grasped before we are faced with uncomfortable motions at the AGM.
I am therefore asking that instructions be given to Mr Xxxxxxxx and payment authorised to go ahead with a brainstorming session to review work undertaken to date and come up with possible ideas for a legal challenge. I anticipate that he would like Dean to be present in addition to myself and whomever else you might feel appropriate. Once instructed, he has indicated that he could work quickly and offer an appointment the following week.
As you have probably heard, I understand that the share sale is now in December, so we have a bit of time but need to move very fast. Mr Xxxxxxxx indicated to me that in one of his conversations with Napo, he was told that (deleted so as not prejudice any possible action). In view of the urgency, I'd very much appreciate an early indication as to whether Napo can proceed with this offer and ideally by Thursday at the latest. If you have any questions do not hesitate to get back to me.