Probation posts set to go

POSTS could be lost at Suffolk and Norfolk probation services as the result of a proposed merger.

POSTS could be lost at Suffolk and Norfolk probation services as the result of a proposed merger.

At this stage there are no details of the number of posts that could be lost once the two boards combine, however any positions that become vacant in the next few years will not be replaced.

John Budd, Suffolk Probation Area Chief Officer, said any possible redundancies would be “further down the line”.

All probation boards in England and Wales must apply to become Probation Trusts by April 1, 2010. The boards of Norfolk and Suffolk decided they could most successfully achieve trust status by submitting a joint application.

If successful the merger will mean both counties will share human resources, finance, the chief executive and other operational roles. They maintain that frontline services will be protected as much as possible.

Mr Budd added: “My biggest challenge is to ensure the same level of service is maintained in Suffolk.

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“I am focused on being an excellent provider of probation services for the victims, courts, communities and offenders in Norfolk and Suffolk.

“We do know that the savings that are required over three years will make it very difficult to do what we do now. The problem with the public sector is that it is not immune to economic pressures. We are assessing our costs.”