Elfyn Llwyd (Parliamentary Leader; Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Plaid Cymru)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the likely change to the number of (a) probation officer and (b) probation service officer posts in Wales in financial year 2010-11.
Maria Eagle (Minister of State (also in the Government Equalities Office), Ministry of Justice; Liverpool, Garston, Labour)
The amalgamation of the four probation providers into a single trust will yield savings of about £1.5 million taken from non-delivery functions. This supports front-line delivery by allowing about 34 full-time equivalent probation officers' posts across Wales to be funded from these savings.
Under the planning assumptions for the trust, during 2010-11 improvements to the trust's workforce planning and case management may result in an overall reduction of up to 28 probation officer posts (POs) and up to two probation service officer posts (PSOs) across Wales. However, additional funding has been granted for offender service provision, which is currently under discussion between the Director of Offender Management in Wales and probation. Any new services agreed with probation would result in the retention of some posts to deliver the services. These discussions are being concluded as quickly as possible.