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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD held on

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					                                   UNCLASSIFIED
                                                   CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                               27 MARCH 2009

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD held on
27 March 2009 at Cheshire Area Headquarters, Beech House, Park West, Sealand
Road, Chester

      PRESENT: L Robinson (Chair)
                A Backhouse
                M Darby
                J Eccles
                M Hogg
                Y McLean
                J Miller
                M Roberts
                S Collett, Chief Officer
      OFFICERS: C Evans, Assistant Chief Officer
                J Davidson, Assistant Chief Officer
                C Edwards, Assistant Chief Officer
                S Link, Assistant Chief Officer
                K Thornden, Assistant Chief Officer
                S Taylor, Commissioning Manager, NW ROMS Office
                D Bryan, Deputy Secretary
                R Graves, Committee Officer

There were no members of the public present at the meeting.

1     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

      Apologies were received from Judge S Clarke and R Howarth.

2     PROCEDURAL MATTERS

      2.1    DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

      There were no interests declared at the meeting.

      2.2    MINUTES

      RESOLVED:

      That the Minutes of the meeting of the Probation Board held on 27 February
      2009 be confirmed as a correct record.

      2.3    MATTERS ARISING

      5.1.1 Audit Committee Self Assessment
      A suggestion that a Finance Committee of the Board be formed was deferred for
      more detailed consideration after the outcome of the Trust application was
      known.



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                                                  CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                              27 MARCH 2009

3   CHAIR’S REPORT

    The Chair reported that he would be attending the Chiefs‟ and Chairs‟ meeting
    next week when further discussion on Trusts would take place. He would also
    be attending the Probation Association Council Meeting on 7 April.

    The Annual Reward and Recognition Ceremony was scheduled to take place
    after the Board meeting on Friday, 2 October. Jane Miller, Chair of Reward and
    Recognition Panel, was now unable to attend on this date and the Chair
    suggested that the Board Meeting and Awards Ceremony be moved to the
    following Friday – 9 October.

    RESOLVED:

    That the Board meeting and the Reward Recognition Ceremony date to be
    changed to 9 October 2009.

4   CHIEF OFFICER’S REPORT

    Area
    M Roberts, along with the Chief Officer, had attended the Cheshire and North
    Wales Consortium Board, which had taken place on 20 March. The Consortium
    would be affected by the creation of a single Welsh Trust in approximately two
    years time. In the meantime, the Consortium was working well and was valued
    by the North Wales Chief Officer. C Evans reported that the Internal Audit
    report on the joint working was classified as „well controlled‟ and offered value
    for money.

    The Area had held its Mentors‟ Conference on 25 March at the Holiday Inn,
    Runcorn. This was attended by 65 mentors and was entitled “Mentoring
    Works”. The Chief Officer for the Special Constabulary had attended.

    Regional
    S Link had represented the Area at the North West ROM High Performance
    Workshop on 4 March. Contributions had been made by Cheshire on Local
    Working Agreements and IPPF Areas for Improvement. The ROM had made
    complimentary remarks about the Area‟s Court Staff, who he had met during a
    recent visit to Cheshire, especially their grasp of targets and performance
    issues.

    The Chief Officer had attended the Northwest Regional Board on 23 March.
    The Board had discussed the KPMG report, Consortium working and regional
    property strategy. The Board had carried out a Best Value Review of Training
    and Staff Development which had recommended that training be carried out at a
    regional level and that a Consortium be created to manage, design and deliver
    training across the North West.

    National
    The Probation Chiefs Association Executive and Council had taken place on 13
    March. Following the resignation of the Chair of the Association it was decided
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                                                    CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                                27 MARCH 2009

     that the election of a replacement would be deferred due to the Trust application
     process going on at present.

     RESOLVED:

     That the report be received.

     4.1   BOARD SECRETARIAL ARRANGEMENTS

     Since 2002, David Bryan had acted as Board Deputy Secretary on behalf of
     Gerry Budd, County Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, Cheshire County Council.
     Following discussions with the Board Chair and the Deputy Secretary, it had
     been agreed, subject to Board approval, that the Board Deputy Secretary be
     appointed as the Board Secretary on the basis of current costs with effect from 1
     April 2009.

     It had also been agreed that initially the administration of the Board would
     transfer with David Bryan to Cheshire West and Chester Council and support
     services be provided by the new Authority at the current cost.

     RESOLVED:

     That David Bryan, Group Solicitor- People Designate for Cheshire West and
     Chester, be appointed as the Board Secretary from 1 April 2009.

5.   PANELS

     5.1   AUDIT COMMITTEE

     The Audit Committee had met on 5 March 2009 and C Evans gave a verbal
     report on the meeting. The Committee had received two final Internal Audit
     reports on Unpaid Work Stand Downs and Sickness Absence – Compliance
     with counting rules. It was reported that fifty days had been allocated for the
     Internal Audit Plan for 2009/10 and that four areas of work had been identified
     as mandatory by NOMS Audit and Corporate Assurance. The Committee had
     been concerned that areas already well controlled would be audited and not
     areas of concern. Bentley Jennison had been appointed as the new Internal
     Auditors without consultation with the Area.

     RESOLVED:

     That the report be received.

     5.1.1 APPOINTMENT OF AUDIT COMMITTEE

     Under the Audit Committee‟s Terms of Reference, the Board shall, at its
     meeting preceding 1 April, appoint its Audit Committee members and a Chair of
     the Committee.


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                                             CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                         27 MARCH 2009

RESOLVED: That

(1)   Ron Howarth be appointed as the Chair of the Audit Committee; and

(2)   the membership of the Audit Committee be:

      Michael Darby
      Ron Howarth
      Myles Hogg
      Yvonne McLean
      Mary Roberts.

5.2   LOCAL JOINT NEGOTIATING AND CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE

The response from the NNC Joint Secretaries was expected soon and would be
reported to the next meeting of the Local Joint Negotiating and Consultative
Committee on 22 May 2009.

5.3   HEALTH AND SAFETY PANEL

The next meeting of the Health and Safety Panel was on 20 April 2009.

5.4   DIVERSITY PANEL

The Minutes of the meeting of the Diversity Panel held on 25 February 2009
were received.

Jane Miller reported on her attendance at a NOMS/Ministry of Justice event on
Diversity. There had only been a small number of attendees from the Probation
Service and the majority of the speakers had spoken about how diversity is dealt
with in the Prison Service. The event had demonstrated that Probation, and in
particular the Cheshire Area, were well ahead in their thinking and practices on
diversity.

RESOLVED:

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Diversity Panel held on 25 February 2009
be received.

5.5   COMMUNICATIONS PANEL

The next meeting of the Communications Panel would now be held on 23 April
2009.

5.6   SECURITY FORUM

The next meeting of the Security Forum was on 20 April 2009.



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                                 UNCLASSIFIED
                                                 CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                             27 MARCH 2009

    5.7   REWARD AND RECOGNITION.

    The meeting of the Reward and Recognition Panel was held on 16 March 2009.

6   TRUST APPLICATION PROCESS

    Board Members considered the draft application and gave detailed feedback to
    SMT. The Board also had the benefit of Sue Taylor‟s advice on her experience
    as an assessor in the process.

    The following points were made by the Board on the draft application:
        there should be some focus on the role/strengths of the Board
        include key local partner endorsement
        more focus on future actions and direction with milestones
        review Domain 1 as this was not written as well as Domains 2, 3 and 4
        improve the cross-referencing and signposting within the documents
        avoid the use of defensive comments
        avoid the over-reliance on past performance
        Domain 4 could be made stronger in evidencing performance
        make reference to sentencer/public conferences and the staff conference
        state more clearly the difference that Trust status would make
        the documents need to be more analytical and less descriptive
        include diagrams and tables to replace some of the narrative
        include details on how the Area shifts resources to the frontline
        make more of the benefits brought about by local government
           reorganisation

    The Board went on to discuss in detail the proposed structures for the
    management of the Local Delivery Units and asked for further information on the
    pros and cons of each model and the financial implications of the models.

    RESOLVED: That

    (1)   the Board‟s comments on the draft application be taken account of by
          SMT in the future revisions; and

    (2)    the pros and cons of the Options for resourcing the Local Delivery Units
          and the financial costs be provided to Board members

7   AREA BUSINESS PLAN 2009/10 AND SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS
    2009/10

    The Board was required to have an Area Business Plan and the near final
    version of the Plan for 2009/10 was discussed. The Plan incorporated the five
    priorities required by NOMS for the 2008/9 Plan. It also included the
    Performance Indicators that had been negotiated with Regional Offender
    Manager‟s office and were incorporated within the Service Level Agreement.


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                                 UNCLASSIFIED
                                                 CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                             27 MARCH 2009

    The Board discussed whether or not the Risk Register should be included in the
    Business Plan and asked that the Board Secretary give his view on this. It was
    also requested that a summary sheet of the Business Plan be displayed in the
    Area‟s offices.

    RESOLVED: That

    (1)   the Area Business Plan 2009/10 be approved;

    (2)   the process for the acceptance of the Service Level Agreements 2009/10
          be noted;

    (3)   consideration be given as to whether or not the Risk Register to be
          included in the Plan; and

    (4)   a brief summary of the Plan for display in Area offices to be produced.

8   WOMEN OFFENDERS ACTION PLAN

    Baroness Corston‟s report on the Review of Women with Particular
    Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System had made a number of
    recommendations which focused on improving community-based interventions
    and services to women in order to reduce the use of inappropriate custodial
    sentences. As a result, the Offender Management Guide to working with
    women offenders was launched in December 2008. The Area had produced an
    Action Plan in response to the Guide, which addressed all the recommendations
    contained therein.

    Board Members requested that at a future meeting they received a presentation
    on the background and context of women‟s offending and that it includes Area
    staff from Styal Women‟s Prison.

    RESOLVED: That

    (1)   the Women Offenders‟ Action Plan be endorsed; and

    (2)   the Board receive a presentation on the background and context of
          women‟s offending at a future Board meeting.

9   SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME

    All Areas were required to publish a Single Equality Scheme by 31 March 2009.
    A final working draft had been distributed to Members for consideration. The
    Single Scheme covered the period 2009-12 and incorporated the Area‟s existing
    Schemes on Race, Gender and Disability. It had also provided the opportunity
    to refresh these schemes and to broaden the scope to encompass religion and
    belief, age and sexual orientation.



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                                   UNCLASSIFIED
                                                   CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                                                               27 MARCH 2009

10   APPROVED PREMISES FULL YEAR REVIEW 2008/09

     The Board received a report on the operational performance of the Approved
     Premises in Cheshire in 2008/09, which also outlined the changes to the
     regimes at both Approved Premises, detailed the changes to the staffing
     structure, confirmed the Annual Self Assessment result and reported on
     community liaison issues.

     The Board asked that their appreciation of the work by staff at Approved
     Premises staff be passed on.

     Board Members also gave feedback on the MAPPA observations they had
     taken part in and were particularly impressed in the skilled multi-agency
     contributions and the level of detail of the case reviews. They asked if
     consideration could be given to involving the media in the work of MAPPA to
     highlight its success.

     RESOLVED: That

     (1)   the Approved Premises Full Year Review Report 2008/09 be received;

     (2)   the Board‟s appreciation of the work of Approved Premises‟ staff to be
           passed on; and

     (3)   consideration be given to media involvement in MAPPA process.

11   URGENT BUSINESS AND EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

     RESOLVED:

     That the Press and Public were excluded from the meeting for the items of
     business listed below on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of
     exempt or confidential information.

      Item                                             Paragraph
      Minutes of the Previous Meeting
      (27 February 2009)
      Matters Arising and Review of Action
      Serious Incidents                        2(a)    Where the disclosure of
                                                       information to the public would
                                                       be prejudicial to the public
                                                       interest by reasons of its
                                                       confidential nature
                                               3(a)    A victim, an offender, a person
                                                       charged with an offence but not
                                                       convicted, a person who is or
                                                       has been resident in premises
                                                       approved under section 9 of the
                                                       Criminal Justice and Court
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UNCLASSIFIED
                CHESHIRE PROBATION BOARD
                            27 MARCH 2009

                  Services Act 2000 or relative of
                  such a person
           3(e)   The prevention, investigation or
                  prosecution of crime




   CHAIRMAN:……………………………………

   DATE: ………………………………………….




UNCLASSIFIED
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