Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who made their way to Nottingham last week for a hugely successful Annual General Meeting. By now, all attendees should have received a survey asking for your feedback on the way in which conference was conducted, the timetable of events and, the without doubt, excellent East Midlands Conference Centre.

The amount of business that we got through over two days was quite amazing, especially as we also accommodated a number of top quality speakers into the timetable. I had wondered whether we could match the synergy from last year's AGM in Cardiff within the new truncated schedule, but thanks to the tremendous efforts of Napo Staff, Steering Committee, Monitors, Stewards and the Officers it looked pretty impressive to me.

Look out for the special report that is being lined up by the Communications Team covering the important directives that we have been tasked with.

Among them was the big decision to endorse the continuance of Napo as an independent trade union and professional association. The debate heard about the initial work that has been started to put more substance to the Strategy for Growth which has been agreed in principle by the NEC, but which will need to be the subject of further reports and member involvement before we make even bigger decisions about the financial investment that will be needed to make this plan work.


Among the highlights at Conference were the contributions from Richard Burgon MP  Labour Justice Shadow Secretary and Bob Neill MP who is Chair of the Justice Select Committee (JSC).

As we gathered in Nottingham, news broke that the JSC had announced an extension of the work that they had started before the June general election and we heard from Bob Neill of the Committees intention to hold a Parliamentary enquiry into Transforming Rehabilitation.

Both speeches went down well with Conference but especially Richard Burgon’s commitment to restore the probation service to public ownership if Labour forms the next government. Members also heard that Napo will be invited to give written and oral evidence to the inquiry.


Another huge talking point in and around AGM was the upcoming expose by the BBC investigation team into the deleterious impact of Transforming Rehabilitation. This is scheduled for transmission on BBC 1 next Wednesday at 7:30 pm and you may want to distribute this news across your Social Media contacts.

We have not seen the programme in advance, but I can tell you that a lot of work has been put in by us centrally and from some of our activists to try and get our messages across. We will also be doing what we can to get the issues out there in the wider media. At Nottingham, an emergency motion was carried which made it clear that Napo will move to protect any members who are lent on by their employers if they are identified as having taken part in this production. I hope that won’t be necessary. It’s the sort of desperate action to silence people that we might expect in a totalitarian regime. Perhaps its symptomatic of the fact that there may be a few high profile people for which the  Panorama programme won’t be especially comfortable viewing.

#napo #probation #fcs #scrapthecap

Finally, can I thank those Napo members who made the trip to Parliament Square last Tuesday, standing in solidarity with workers across the public services to support the TUC campaign to scrap the pay cap.

Our own Conference made it clear that this policy needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history and all the signs are that industrial action may well be needed to help force the case.

Blog type: 
General Secretary's Blog