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Probation Service

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:45 am on 13th December 2005.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby 10:45 am, 13th December 2005

The patience taught at Cheltenham ladies college is commendable and essential for this debate. My hon. Friend does not seem to have grasped our point. We all want the improvement that has taken place with the creation of a national service to continue, but we are arguing about the best way of advancing that. The improvement has been achieved on the basis of the local running of the service, of co-operation and of a community service serving the courts. The Minister asserts that the service can be improved further by bringing in commercial briefs and contestability. Can she prove that?