Another extraordinary evidence-gathering session of the Justice Committee's inquiry into the TR omnishambes can be viewed here. We'll have to wait a few days for the transcript, but in the meantime I'll offer a couple of comments.
Once again the true horror of TR is laid bare for all to see and it beggars belief that supposedly intelligent people thought it was a good idea and had any chance of working. Having said that, I'm afraid the contribution from the Probation Institute was mealy-mouthed as usual and apart from using the platform to argue for them being given the role of regulator and licencing authority, could offer no coherent plan for repairing the damage.
The same cannot be said for Ben Priestley of Unison however, who proved to be on top of his brief, was well-prepared and gave a barnstorming performance, in stark contrast to Ian Lawrence of Napo who even had difficulty knowing the salary range of a PO.
This was the opportunity to really hit the Justice Committee with facts, figures, some blunt, coherent analysis, sound argument and most-importantly of all, a plan B. Ben did all this in spades and made a strong case for a return to local accountability and involvement of Police and Crime Commissioners in future probation provision. The session is well worth watching for his contribution alone.