Following our meeting this morning the SNC have reluctantly decided that there is insufficient assurance or certainty around us being able to stage our annual conference planned for October this year, and this circular is to inform you that we have decided to cancel it until next year.

Although the lifting of restrictions planned in July and August suggest we could put in place some form of arrangement for conference to take place, there is no certainty around those planned changes or for how long they would remain before further change. It is highly unlikely even then, that it would be a conference based around what we all expect and recognise, and it does not come even at this stage, without some risk to those in attendance. On the basis that to proceed as planned at this stage would involve starting to commit POA funds that we may well lose further down the line, we have decided that cancelling the conference is the safest thing to do.

We appreciate that people will be disappointed, as are the SNC.

Separately, we have agreed that there would be some value in trying to organise a Communications meeting for the SNC and branches and we are looking tentatively for organising such a meeting for 27th July 2021. This meeting is subject to change or cancelation too, dependent on current circumstances nearer the time, but we will set out to arrange at this stage and communicate how it will be conducted as well as where, once we have that finalised. Be assured, that we will not be holding this meeting without being able to assure ourselves, and those scheduled to attend, that it can be held in as safe a manner as is reasonably possible.

On behalf of POA Scotland

Assistant General Secretary

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.