York & North Yorkshire

Cuts plan for Yorkshire Dales national park

Yorkshire Dales national park is planning to make redundancies and scrap 12 environmental projects after its funding was cut by more than a quarter.

The proposals would see 15 voluntary and three compulsory redundancies, as well as cuts to school visits, events and information centre opening hours.

Government cash for the park authority will reduce by £1.43m, or 25.3%, over the next four years.

The authority has launched a public consultation on the proposals.

Graduate apprenticeships would face cuts, two of the 14 toilets would close and less money would be allocated to climate change and archaeology research.

'Drastic' rethink

There would be no grants for free leisure bus services in 2011/12.

Chairman Carl Lis said once inflation was added, the actual cut was nearer £1.9m, or 31%.

He added: "This reduction in our budget has meant that we have had to rethink drastically our role now and in the immediate future and, unfortunately, it will mean staff redundancies and the scrapping of some of the work we do so that we can continue to provide our key services to a high standard.

"The authority has carefully considered a range of options and developed proposals that would meet the required budget cuts, while trying to deliver the statutory purposes of a national park authority.

"Now we want to hear what the public thinks about the proposed changes to our services, and the impact they may have on the environment, local communities, and the use and enjoyment of the National Park."

The public consultation runs until 10 March and a final decision will be made on 29 March.

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