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Probation Services

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average change in (a) management, (b) maintenance of property and (c) hostel facilities costs for probation areas is in England and Wales in 2003–04. [109565]

The National Probation Directorate (NPD) does not have reliable data on the cost of management, maintenance of the commercial estate and hostels facilities in 2002–03 and therefore there is no realistic baseline by which any cost increase can be measured. The cost of management, maintenance of the commercial estate and hostels facilities in 2003–04 will not accurately be known until the end of the year when audited accounts are produced. The total revenue budget for 2003–04 is about £60 million for the commercial estate and about £14 million for the approved premises. This includes rents, rates, utility costs, depreciation and capital charges and also management and maintenance costs. The exact split of this budget for 2003–04 is still being determined as the NPD collects more accurate detailed data on costs. This will also depend on a number of factors, which will include the numbers and types of properties that are occupied and disposed of during the year and the extent of the repair and maintenance required.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the change in (a) management, (b) maintenance of property and (c) hostel facilities costs for probation areas is for 2003–04 in (i) Avon and Somerset, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) West Yorkshire, (iv) Staffordshire, (v) Lancashire, (vi) Greater London, (vii) Kent and (viii) Thames Valley. [109566]

The National Probation Directorate (NPD) does not have reliable data on the cost of management, maintenance of the commercial estate and hostels facilities in 2002–03 by individual probation area and therefore there is no realistic baseline by which any cost increase can be measured. The cost of management, maintenance of the commercial estate and hostels facilities in 2003–04 by individual probation area will not accurately be known until the end of the year when audited accounts are produced. The total revenue budget for 2003–04 is about £60 million for the commercial estate and about £14 million for the approved premises. This includes rents, rates, utility costs, depreciation and capital charges and also management and maintenance costs. The exact split of this budget for 2003–04 between individual probation areas is still being determined as the NPD collects more accurate detailed data on costs. This will also depend on a number of factors, which will include the numbers and types of properties that are occupied and disposed of during the year and the extent of the repair and maintenance required to properties in each area.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the status of the "What Works" programme in the national probation service. [109592]

An evidence-based approach to probation practice is essential if the National Probation Service's work with offenders is to be effective in reducing re-offending and improving public protection. "What Works" is therefore at the heart of the Director General's on-going change programme for the Service and is vital to its success.

The National Probation Service has 13 accredited offending behaviour programmes with others in development. Other important elements of What Works include the introduction this year of Enhanced Community Punishment, the development of community re-integration approaches in relation to employment, training and education, and the development of a national case management framework. What Works is underpinned by the new Offender Assessment System, the implementation of which is well advanced.