On Yer Bike

Did one of my increasingly rare public appearances on Saturday at the very well attended CLSA Conference. (This was not one of those carefully choreographed public outings designed to prove that an ailing dictator is still alive and kicking)

The keynote speaker was CPS Chief Exec Peter Lewis, standing in for the DPP. My interest in the session was obviously different to CDS practitioners, which was caught by the obvious “implementing massive cuts” theme. Here one comes away with the same type of feelings consideration of all current policy inspires; reducing budgets define policy with no serious consideration of the consequences, even that the policy might/will lead to an ultimate overall, increase in spending. Exactly like the informed take on LASPO.

Most starkly in this is the planned reduction in the CPS staff establishment from some 8,800 FTEs to somewhere nearer 6,000.

Legal Aid law firms do of course face, and are already implementing, similar cuts to their income. And here the difference between “budget” and “income” could not be starker. The one advantage private sector firms have over the public sector is the ability to “pedal harder” to maintain income. Once again this is the only meaningful option available – albeit one inextricably linked to the declining CPS’ decisions on charging and progressing cases.

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