A major revolt in the probation service has been averted by a little-noted but gracious announcement by Martin Narey, chief executive of the new National Offender Management Service (Noms).

After spending 10 weeks explaining his proposed structure to more than 3,000 staff across the country, Narey has announced a reprieve for the existing 42 local area probation boards earmarked for the axe.
"I have decided that the option of moving immediately to create new regional boards is unlikely to deliver better management of offenders and better services - my two main objectives," he says.

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