It is reasonably well known in probation circles that the current configuration of probation services in Wales is unsustainable. There are currently two Probation Trusts (South Wales, my patch, and Dyfed Powys) and two Probation Areas (North Wales and Gwent). Not for much longer it seems.
As these notes of a meeting of all chairs and chief executives show, the South Wales and Dyfed Powys Trust Boards have agreed to proceed to second generation Trust status together and possibly with one or both of the remaining Areas in Wales.
The single Trust in Wales option would clearly be able to deliver front-line services to a standard equal to or better than that delivered by the current four provides individually, because the costs of running four HR, IT and finance systems would reduce. And of course, there would only be a need for one set of Board members.
Since the Ministerial drive is for the new round of Trusts to be established for 1 April 2010, there isn’t much time for the Trusts and Areas to come to an agreement and submit a Trust application to the MoJ.
Lots more is happening behind the scenes. When it makes it to the public domain I'll be able to talk some more.