My honourable friend Maria Eagle, the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I wish to inform the House that from 1 April 2010 there will be established 29 further probation trusts operating in England and Wales. This brings to 35 the total number of probation trusts and means the dissolution of the last remaining local probation boards.
The trusts programme has presented a challenge to the probation service to demonstrate that it can deliver locally tailored services efficiently and effectively. I am pleased that all of the remaining probation areas have successfully met this challenge and I am confident that they will all be successful in realising the benefits they have identified in moving to trust status.