Determining Savings of £423,000
10 February 2016
At Snowdonia National Park Authority’s meeting at Plas Tan y Bwlch today, Members gave their approval on the steps to be taken in response to a 5% reduction in grant from the Welsh Government.
During the past two years, Snowdonia National Park Authority has suffered a 14% cut of £872,000 in its services. However, during the next financial year, 2016, the Park Authority will suffer a further cut of £423,000 (a combination of the reduction in grant and other costs such as variation of income) with the possibility of further cuts in 2017.
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park Authority said,
"Being given notice of a budget’s content so late in the day makes working on such an unpleasant task much harder. The draft budget received from the Welsh Government indicates a 5% cut for the next financial year, and for a small Authority which attracts a core grant of £5 million, these cuts are very difficult to achieve.
We have already looked at all areas of our work and have made several very difficult decisions, including increasing income, changing staff conditions, not filling vacancies, accepting voluntary resignations as well as making redundancies. We now however, have to consider reducing our level of service, which in turn, will inevitably make it necessary to make more staff redundant.”
Among the changes Members agreed today are:
- Increase income from fees for pre-planning application advice
- Increase income at Plas Tan y Bwlch, services which provide information and car parks
- Reduce spending on archeology, listed buildings, biodiversity, woodland, agriculture, access and projects as well as CAE grants
- Delete vacant posts
- Accept early retirements and voluntary redundancies
- Compulsory redundancies
- Not to reopen Dolgellau TIC
The Welsh Government will publish the final budget for 2016 on March 1st.
Notes to Editors
- To put this in context, SNPA’s budget, through cuts and inflation over the past 10 years has meant that the Authority has lost 40% of its cash value.
- In contrast to the situation in Wales, the National Parks in England have received an increase of 1.72% in their settlement, and their budgets have been protected for the next four years. This will enable them to make mid and long-term plans. This cannot be done in Wales.
- During the meeting today, following the decision not to open Dolgellau TIC, a decision was made to hold discussions with possible potential partners to explore alternative provision for visitors to Dolgellau.