A new probation company that will cover Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire has appointed a chief executive officer (CEO).
Tessa Webb, currently chief executive of Hertfordshire Probation Trust, will take up her new post on April 1 next year when the new company begins operating.
The company, which is expected to trade as the Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Community Rehabilitation Company, will be one of 21 community rehabilitation companies (CRCs) that will start work across England and Wales from April 2014, following the winding up of all probation trusts.
As part of the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation strategy, the 21 CRCs will manage the majority of offenders under supervision, while a newly created National Probation Service will provide advice to the courts, enforcement and manage higher risk offenders. All staff from the probation trusts will transfer over into one or other of these organisations on April 1.
The Ministry of Justice is currently undertaking a competition, with an intention to outsource the community rehabilitation companies towards the end of 2014 to the new providers.
Tessa Webb said: “This is a time of enormous change for probation staff, and I look forward to supporting and leading them through it. They are exceptional people, who deal with some of the most complex aspects of our communities. It will be a big challenge for all of us, as we will be bringing together the workforces of four different probation trusts. It will be critical we keep our eye on service delivery throughout. This is a committed and professional workforce who will do their very best.”
Tessa added: “Effective working relationships at every level will be required. It will be particularly important to me to recognise the value and importance of our local partnerships and tailor services to meet the needs of the local communities. Local relationships are a vital ingredient to reducing reoffending and we need to work twice as hard to nurture them as we go through the transition.
“The CRC will cover a significant geographic area and the new size will bring new opportunities. It will be important that every effort is taken to understand and learn about the strengths and pressures locally and explore how by working together we can increase our resilience.”
Tessa has worked in the Probation Service since 1980.
She has been CEO of Hertfordshire Probation Trust for seven years and previously was deputy head of Public Protection at the Home Office.
Tessa is a director for the Probation Chiefs Association, leading for ‘Localism’. She is on the executive board of the Academy for Justice Commissioning.