Suffolk and Norfolk probation merge plan

SUFFOLK and Norfolk Probation areas are planning to merge, with the aim of becoming a single trust covering both counties.All Probation Boards in England and Wales must apply to become Probation Trusts by April 1, 2010.

SUFFOLK and Norfolk Probation areas are planning to merge, with the aim of becoming a single trust covering both counties.

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 the application is successful, the new combined organisation will be given licence to deliver probation services in the two counties with effect from April 2010.

The two services already have much in common, with similarities in size, structure, culture and levels of performance. The shape and name of the merged organisation will be worked out over the next year.

'It is not clear at this stage whether there will be any job cuts as a result, but frontline operational jobs will be protected as much as possible,' a spokesman said today.

Suffolk Probation's Chief Officer John Budd added: 'Building a new organisation will be both challenging and exciting. We are focused on being an excellent provider of probation services for the victims, courts, communities and offenders of Norfolk and Suffolk. 'In the meantime we will continue to work hard to protect the public and reduce re-offending,' he added.

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