SNPA Facing Financial Challenges Yet Again
1 February 2018
Following the publication of the Welsh Government's budget, Snowdonia National Park Authority once again faces difficult decisions in addressing a financial challenge.
This time, the reduction in the Authority's budget is equivalent to a 5% cut in each of the next two years (2018-2020), which is a total saving of £784,087. This includes other considerations such as inflation, salary inflation and the fact that the Authority has had to deal with the effects of regular reductions in its budget during the last ten years.
In 2020, the Authority’s Welsh Government grant and levy will be £4,484,669 – less than what the Authority received in 2001 (£4,535,480). Considering salary inflation and general inflation over the last twenty years, the Authority today has significantly less resources to carry out its purposes.
In the past, in order to respond to its financial challenges, the Authority has been successful in achieving £1.2m of savings since 2014, together with generating £1.8m of additional income, e.g. through parking fees, Information Centres, Plas Tan y Bwlch, planning fees and pre-planning advice fees. However this is not enough to close the financial gap currently facing the Authority.
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park Authority said,
“Responding to a challenge such as this is extremely hard and our staff are facing difficult and worrying times. We are a small Authority that has already lost 40 valuable jobs in the last ten years, accomplishing more now than twenty years ago but within a much smaller budget.”
Authority Chairman Owain Wyn added,
“As an Authority, we must consider now how we carry out our work, how we will deliver our services together and prioritising those services which are essential to fulfilling our purposes. At the same time, we have to comply with and respond to laws such as the Well-being of Future Generations Act, Environment Act 2016 and ‘Taking Wales Forward’which helps us to guide the direction of our work. We will also set out strategic objectives for the Authority’s Well Being Objectives.
Unfortunately, redundancy is inevitable in a situation such as this and losing anyone form our workforce will have a detrimental effect on our work."
Consultations with staff, partners, stakeholders and the unions ended on Friday and Park Authority Members will determine how it will respond to the 2018/19 financial challenge on February 7th, 2018.
Notes to Editors
1. 75% of the Authority’s budget comes from a Welsh Government Grant 25% from Local Authority levy.
2. The Authority’s core budget in 2020 is £4,484,669, which is £50k less that its core budget in 2001.
3. The Authority currently employs 135 staff.