Friday, 28 November 2014

Words of Comfort

First off, here's the latest news from Napo HQ sent out yesterday to all members:-

Dear Member


Judicial Review update - Napo secures important disclosure ruling

Following our initial directions hearing at the High Court to apply for a Judicial Review, Napo yesterday attended a disclosure hearing. For quite some time, Napo has been seeking to secure a copy of the Test Gate 4 report but to date the Secretary of State had only provided summaries, but not the report itself. Because of this, and as the Secretary of State had provided so little other accompanying documentary evidence with their witness statements, an application for specific disclosure was made on behalf of Napo, and late yesterday afternoon the Secretary of State was ordered to provide significant documentary evidence, including - importantly - the Test Gate 4 and Test Gate 5 reports. Whilst not all of our requests were accepted by the Judge a significant proportion were, and the documentation that will be released is highly significant in relation to our case against the Secretary of State.

The documentation which will be provided will be subject to an implied duty of confidentiality until such time that they are referred to in open Court. Napo’s Officers and Officials will not therefore be able to disclose any information regarding specific documents to members.

Whilst we still have a long way to go in our legal challenge which is set to commence on 10th December, this is a significant step for Napo and one we hope will provide a boost to members as they continue to work within the chaos of probation on a day to day basis.

Further news via the Napo website and direct mail outs to members will be issued in due course.

Ian Lawrence (General Secretary) and the Napo Officer Group

Clearly good news, and as a contributor commented yesterday, forcing Grayling to do anything against his will leaves one feeling quite good. I'm told he's due before the Justice Affairs Commitee again next Tuesday 2nd December at 11.15, so lets hope Sir Allen Beith and his compatriots give him a hard time over the compromised 70% Chief Inspector of Probation, amongst other things. Michael Spurr will be giving evidence also. 

There must be quite a few CRC CEO's feeling quite uncomfortable at the moment as they begin to realise exactly what the preferred bidders have in mind and eye them up trying to decide whether they have a future in the brave new world order or not. I predict quite a few will be gone in short order as, despite their best endeavours at demonstrating innovation and commercial savvy, it will count for nothing with the big boys.

A dickie bird tells me that 'letters of comfort' are hastily being prepared as the CEO's face all kinds of possible legal problems as the omnishambles moves into the next phase. According to wikipedia:- 
A letter of comfort is a communication from a party to a contract to the other party that indicates an initial willingness to enter into a contractual obligation absent the elements of a legally enforceable contract. The objective is to create a morally binding but not legally binding assurance.
Generally, a letter of comfort is drafted only in vague terms, to avoid creating enforceable contract terms. Few nations regulate letters of comfort by statute; whether a letter of comfort creates legally enforceable contractual terms is often determined only by courts of law, based solely on the wording of the document. Despite their nonbinding status, letters of comfort nonetheless provide risk mitigation because the parent company is putting its own reputation in jeopardy.
Completely unused to the harsh realities of the commercial world, they may yet rue the day they decided to get or stay involved. 

News also reaches me that the MoJ will shortly be landed with a new headache in the form of a stack of crap and very second-rate real estate all over the country as the big boys make it clear they have no intention of taking on such liabilities. In short order CRC's will find they will be considerably down-sized into less offices, forced to 'hotdesk' and effectively kill off Graylings nonsense about co-locating with NPS. When this happens, the true chaos that will flow from separation will become fully evident.

According to the Huffington Post, poetic justice for sealing the fate of the Probation Service looks like it's in store for Nick Clegg in Sheffield:-    
Nick Clegg Is Dangerously Close To Losing His Seat
Nick Clegg is perilously close to losing his parliamentary seat as a new poll indicates that he enjoys a poll lead of just 3% points among voters in his Sheffield Hallam constituency. In response to a survey by Tory pollster Lord Ashcroft, just 31% of voters said they would back the Liberal Democrat leader at the next election, with 28% saying they would vote for Labour. Such a finding is potentially dangerous for Clegg as it is within the margin of error.
Labour's parliamentary candidate Oliver Coppard told HuffPostUK that the poll "won't come as a surprise to anyone who's actually spent any time speaking to people in Sheffield Hallam". He added: "It's obviously a two horse race here now and has been ever since Nick Clegg betrayed so many of the people who voted for him in 2010. The momentum is only going one way.
"No one here will forget his decisions on tuition fees, Forgemasters or the huge cuts he's inflicted on Sheffield. It's obvious that Nick Clegg's priority is keeping the Lib Dems in government with the Tories, not what's best for the people who live here in Hallam."
Voters in Clegg's own backyard also issued a withering verdict about his suitability to lead Britain, with only 11% saying he would make the best prime minister, just narrowly ahead of Ukip leader Nigel Farage at 9%. The findings will be deeply unwelcome for Clegg in his bid to survive next year's general election, as other polls have shed light on the Liberal Democrats' nationwide plunge in popularity.
A previous poll by Lord Ashcroft found that the Greens have overtaken the Lib Dems for the first time in a decade, placing them at 8%, just ahead of Clegg's party at 7%. The data suggests an astonishing number of young people, 28% of 18-24 year olds, are planning to vote Green, though the poll only surveyed around 1,000 people.
Finally, here's the link to the BBC i-player featuring Napo Cymru.

26 comments:

  1. Given that the HMIP report on TR is now not to be published till after the the JR hearing shouldn't NAPO be trying to get the court to ensure either it is made available or that the report author/HMCI are sumond to court to be cross examined given that the SoS has made much of HMIP' s silence on TR!

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    1. I cannot for the life of me work out how ANY contracts can be signed prior to a report being published into any possible impact of it. It's a bit like buying a car and then being told that you cannot check it for faults until some months later. It just does not make sense and if Ian Lawrence/NAPO have got any nous they'll raise this question with both the Judge and Grayling. The latter will only be able to mutter 'stubbornly high re-offending rates' like some glabrous idiot but you might get some raised eyebrows from the Judge. Just a thought.

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    2. HMIP could be scathing of TR and assist NAPO position - perhaps the lawyers might want to encourage the Judge to see this too.

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    3. Does anyone seriously think the report will say anything other than 'nothing to see here...move along'.

      I've said it before, when it comes to devious, lying, manipulative and mendacious bastards, you gotta be going some to beat the Tories. A pox on their houses. All of them.

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    4. @ 16:00

      Every time I hear someone use that phrase I'm always reminded of Obi Wan in the first Star Wars.

      Thanks for the little chuckle :)

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  2. Popular as ever.

    http://m.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/latest-news/court-closed-after-consultation-sham-1-6442562

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    1. Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling closed Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday following a public consultation that was branded a “sham”.

      The court was de-listed on December 19 – with all work sent to other courts – but the official closure is the final death blow.

      Criminal Defence Associates Lawyer Rachel Stevens said the Lord Chancellor was only interested in achieving the outcome that suited the civil service.

      Speaking on Tuesday, Miss Stevens said: “The consultation process has been a complete sham and a waste of time.

      “The reasons given today for the decision to close the court are, verbatim, the arguments put forward by the court service when they asked for representations.

      “I and many other people demonstrated in our responses how those arguments were absolutely untrue and yet the Minister has adopted them wholesale without reference to the enormous weight of evidence to the contrary. Ironic he is described as the Minister for Justice.

      “He wasn’t interested in the truth, just in achieving the outcome that suited the civil service. It’s a sad day for democracy.”

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  3. Methinks there is a lovely problem bubbling now for Mr Grayling and HMIP and one of them must break ranks soon, or be ordered to by M' Learned Judge.
    Also noticed on his twitter dated 29 Sept (Paul McDowell
    @PaulMcDowell4)
    " Visiting Northumbria NPS and CRC staff today to discuss inspection methodology"
    now, didn't Sodexo ( of which his wife Janine is a director) win this CPA bid?

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    1. Ohhhhhhh, could be fun in Newcastle. As an ex-Geordie I know they can be....blunt at times.

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    2. Unfurtunatly that was back in September! He has been in Stevenage today!!

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    3. Which is also a Sodexo CRC!!!

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    4. I bet he's just car sharing with his wife :)

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    5. Exactly! September - before the successful bidders were announced - can you imagine how useful information would have been???

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    6. Yes, but you are missing the point. Mr McDowell has quite clearly stated that he and his Mrs NEVER EVER discussed work. Ever. I hope that you are not suggesting that those in a position of power would lie just simply to line their own pockets!!!!

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    7. Umm. reminds me of Bill Clinton...he never ever either

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  4. Doesn't this stink????

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  5. What legal implications are there for CEOs if they do not make sure all Trust and NPS data is destroyed / moved on before share sale? It seems a big job, they seem a bit scared.

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    1. David Mellors Cab Driver28 November 2014 at 19:09

      I big fat cover up I suspect. If they can hide evidence about MP's raping and killing children, this will be a piece of piss for them.

      I think it's about time the whole country woke up to the abuses, and not just sexual, of those in positions of power. We, the little people, are little more than annoyances to them.

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    2. It's a genuine question. We have been told there are legal implications if this is not done. What legal implications are there and will it hold up share sale?

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  6. Has anyone seen the pi55 poor data queries to be used to measure pbr so bad they taken to socialising the queries rather than publishing drafts as that would assume that some level of quality assurance had been achieved. You couldn't make it up. When is an accredited programme failure not a failure? When you revoke the order. So take a hit on a big volume metric to avoid a penalty on a small target.

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    1. The key will be how they evidence meeting their targets. Preparing a 'sentence plan' is easy but the easiest way to evidence this and collate the information is to use OASys, not an easy tool and very time consuming. Here is what I am wondering...

      If staff complete a sentence plan on a piece of paper therefore meeting the contract target, but CRC management struggle to find a way of evidencing that target as being complete, can they take disciplinary action against staff for not completing sentence plans on time?

      We're being threatened with disciplinary action if we don't get OASys ISPs done to target however there is no OASys target, just a sentence plan target. The next 12 months will certainly be interesting...

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  7. Oh My God ! I have just spent a week chasing myself up my own bottom and getting nowhere. I come on here to try and get some feeling that I am not alone and what am I faced with ......... Fucking gobbledygook ..... Wake up you bastards the Service is gone!!

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    1. But it's not gone yet and just like Al Capone was jailed for tax avoidance there might be things we can do...

      What if we don't complete any OASys but do all out plans on paper? They will miss their targets.

      What if we don't have time to do all the bits and pieces that make it legal to sell us off. Will they have to postpone?

      Information is key here. What will have most impact and what can we get away with?

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  8. I think anon 9.27 deserves an award for the most unintelligible post I have seen on here!

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  9. Lol! Re 22:16 I agree! Unintelligible but who gives? We're doomed old money prevails as usual. Marx was right. The powerful view anyone who has to buy their own furniture as pieces of stuff in the dirt.

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  10. I think MOJ stooges are back. Might be because of another bad day in Court for Grayling. Another good day for NAPO though! https://www.napo.org.uk/blogs/good-day-court

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