Thursday, 4 June 2015

Latest From Napo 60

3rd June 2015

Dear Colleague


You will know doubt be aware that Napo had begun an informal consultation process on the future format of AGM (BR46-2015 and BR49-2016). This was in light of a need to book a venue for 2016 which is due to be in Wales and in response to feedback from members that travelling to Llandudno was not accessible for all branches and members. As such Napo has been looking at more central locations to hold AGM 2016 and had found St David’s Hall in Cardiff.

We are also aware that it is becoming increasingly difficult for members to take time off work and the AGM planning group drew up some alternatives that would keep the AGM accessible both in terms of travel and time off as well as potentially making a better use of our resources.

Although we had originally planned to go through formal decision making bodies such as the NEC and AGM with the initial feedback we had received, the venue in Cardiff required us to confirm our booking by 1st June 2015.

Whilst we have had some responses from branches and individual members, we do not have the volume of opinion we need to justify us producing a paper to NEC and changing the format for 2016. Given this, we will leave the format unchanged for 2016, but continue with our consultation process in respect of changing the format from 2017.

The feedback we have had so far has been mixed and valuable. Please continue to consult with your members, at branch meetings, and feedback to us with your views so that we can report to NEC prior to this year’s AGM and look to having a fuller debate on this issue with our supreme decision making body when we are in Eastbourne.

Yvonne Pattison
Napo National Co-Chair


What I worry about

Having read messages this week from Sara Robinson, Deputy Director of the London NPS, and from Colin Allars, the National Director of Probation, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the creation of the National Probation Service, I thought it only fitting that I share my views on the past year too.

Colin Allars acknowledges that “there is still a lot to be done to improve the way that we work and the systems that we operate” and Sara Robinson admits that “there are some business processes including ICT and HR and Shared Services that need further central review and development”.

There certainly is.

Members tell me daily of the difficulties and frustrations of trying to get anything done in the NPS. What this says to me is that all the good work of which they are so proud has been achieved in spite of, rather than because of, the creation of a National Probation Service.

What I worry about is the human cost and the toll this is taking on you all.

Both Patricia Johnson (Branch Vice Chair) and I meet with Senior Managers in the NPS and seek to influence the implementation of national directives. But that is all we can do while everything is decided nationally. We will however continue trying and we will hold local management to account for ensuring safe practices. In this respect my message to you all is to take personal responsibility for your health and well-being.

Meanwhile in the CRC, MTCnovo are starting to roll out their plans for restructuring. On the basis of the information I have so far, there is every indication that these plans will be the subject of full and meaningful consultation. They say that they want to know what you think so let us tell them.

To MTCnovo’s credit they have given us adequate facilities time to enable us to seek the views of members and participate in the consultation exercise. We will be arranging a series of meetings which you should be allowed to attend as part of the consultation process.

Many of you were extremely active when we were campaigning against the privatisation of the probation service. That campaign was lost. But it is important that we carry on looking after each other by making sure that this union stays strong and viable.

What I worry about is that, as a consequence of the “split” it will prove increasingly difficult to maintain a functioning branch that can be of service to all its members.

We have failed to achieve a quorum at the last three branch meetings.The branch cannot carry on in its present form. Restructuring proposals have been agreed that will see the creation of new regional roles. This will enable the branch to be more responsive to local needs and concerns. But only if members are willing to step forward and fill these new positions.

The union only exists if its members want it to. Consider what part you might play in your union. If you would like to discuss this please do not hesitate to contact me.

The Branch AGM is on Friday 24th July. Put the date in your diary. Tell your manager of your intention to attend.

Pat Waterman
Greater London Branch


  1. The Ministry of Justice will have to find a further £249m of savings this year, as part of a fresh round of spending reductions following Whitehall’s in-year budget review announced today.

    Michael Gove’s department was revealed as among those facing the deepest cuts after the chancellor, George Osborne, pledged to find a further £3bn of financial savings this year, equivalent to around 3% of unprotected department spending.

    The savings will mean a reduction of 4% from the MoJ’s overall budget of £6.4bn planned for this year.

    This follows a £500m reduction from the MoJ’s 2014/15 budget of £7.1bn.

    The MoJ said that 'cuts to legal aid or access to justice does not form part of this package'.

    It plans to save £105m by 'reprofiling certain capital projects', while a further £144m will be saved from renegotiating contracts, reducing travel and overtime and restricting the use of consultants and agency staff, as well as through other efficiency measures.

    A spokesman at the MoJ said: ‘The department is committed to playing its part in the government’s deficit reduction plans and delivering significant savings for the taxpayer.

    ‘Following the chancellor’s request to find additional in-year savings, we have put together a package that will enable us to drive underspends and efficiencies across the department, including savings from commercial contract negotiations.’

    The biggest losers in the 2015/16 budget review are defence (£500m), education (£450m) and transport, business, innovation and skills (£400m).

  2. suggestions to achieve underspend:
    1. get rid of NOMS
    2. strictly observe PbR contracts
    3.get rid of the expensive layers of management in NPS eg anyone with the title "Head" eg of Public Protection, of Area

  3. £250 million pounds - wow - heard it on the radio on the way home from work - considering defence is 'only' losing £500 million that is a massive cut and very scary.

  4. Will these cuts effect the CRCs or NPS only?

    1. The CRCs were formed to facilitate a reduction in spending. Now the contracts are signed, any 'savings' by a CRC will go in bonuses to CEOs and shareholders. If the govt try to shortchange them, they will simply jack it in. Be afraid, NPS.

    2. It will only effect NPS because CRC are now private companies and govt already promised their money which is why PurpleFutures etc bought them.

      Closing half of Manchester offices should save some money.

    3. Don't even know why we are pretending we have a probation service just close the whole place down buy an island and ship all offenders with a couple of guards and let them look after themselves.

    4. What are they closing down offices in Manchester.

    5. Is the lack of comments on today's blog indicative of the author? Why does this person believe anyone is interested in her opinions, she tried to dominate last year's AGM and now the blog - shut up woman!

    6. Well said had enough of that diatribe. Collectivism in London branch is too late now and no attendance understandable.

  5. Hi John Brown
    You're obviously a very clever and intelligent individual, you know so much. Why don't you apply for the chair's position?
    I must say whilst you're giving readers plenty of information, largely negative information you don't offer any practical solutions only that to get rid of the GS, you may be right but don't say how. You appear to give with one hand then take with the other ie too much negativism. Maybe you want napo to fail?

    1. @Anonymous22.21 - Lololol - 'John' Brown - Chair? Would that be GS or does the organisation you work for only have Chairs??? Honestly - the best thing about this blog is Jim presents facts and issues - the comments, positive or negative are made by other people - usually intelligent ones however you have fallen far short of that branch.

    2. What an idiot 22:21 Napo have completely failed at every stage led by Ian Lawrence . Collapsible napo chairs and disarray through failing to act quickly. There is a real chance many will be paying the price for Napo hopeful guessing tactics and nothing in substance. The roll over for NPS to Consultation and the scattering of branches to CRC leaves me cold. Its member failing we elected the worst bunch ever ! The GS had been given too much sensible advice on this blog and arrogance drove his ignorance. He chose the route for the union he carries the can.

    3. In the same vein that Ed Milliband led Labour to the slaughter, only resigning after catastrophic defeat, we see the G.S following the same M.O due to blinkered ignorance and lack of integrity. He should resign with dignity, opening an opportunity for someone else to salvage the future of NAPO

  6. 22.21 I've also noticed Jim is anti Napo.....

    1. But this is James blog so he can blog what he likes!

  7. Too late for lessons to be learned but NHS consultants acted where we failed to. On BBC Midlands Today, they featured the tale of Nottingham's world - renowned Dermatology service being outsourced to a company called Circle and being ruined. Reason being, Consultants in Notts decided they weren't going to be privatised and simply left en masse. Did the NHS commissioning group back out?. No. They now send emergency/difficult cases to Leicester for the NHS to treat. Circle still have the Notts Dermatology contract!. How depressing. World - renowned to shit in the blink of an eye.

  8. I am Spartacus! @22.21 - anti idiot maybe - I've yet to see an anti NAPO post - critical ones maybe but surely that's the point - in democracy we are entitled to our opinions.

    1. 20.21: Nothing stops anyone from posting a positive message about Napo. Don't shoot the messengers – create a positive message.

  9. Sung to a well-known tune: "We all live in an artIficial world..."

    Everything is orientated around greed, built upon sand, driven by £££'s.

    Sport? Who knows who has really won anything anymore? Cycling, horse racing, athletics, football, boxing, motor sport - seems everyone's been cheating for years. Business? Banking? Everything - it seems that post WW2 the only way to succeed has been to cheat & lie & bully.

    Nothing is what it appears to be. Everything is a lie. When put to the test, everything comes back Positive - positive for deception & greed.