5% budget cut for New Forest National Park

Published Friday 18 June 2010

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed this week that the New Forest National Park’s grant will be reduced.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed this week that the New Forest National Park’s grant will be reduced by 5% to £4.2m as part of the £6.2bn public sector savings – a cut in real terms of £200,000.

The Authority’s new Chief Executive Alison Barnes said the Authority had been preparing for a likely reduction in its central government grant and had identified efficiencies over the last year, she was confident it could still fulfil its obligations.

She said: ‘Our grant to the New Forest Centre this year will go ahead; all our visitor services such as events and ranger activities will still run; our education team will continue to visit around 5,000 children a year, our planning team will continue to handle over 1,000 applications a year.

‘Defra announced that the Sustainable Development Fund - which has allocated over £750,000 to 80 projects with Forest communities over the past four years - will not be affected this year.

‘We are obviously disappointed at the reduction in our grant but appreciate the difficulties being faced by all public bodies. We were anticipating cuts and have planned accordingly for this year to protect our delivery. However, it will be difficult to absorb any further reductions going forward without it having significant impact.’

The 5% budget cut applies to all English National Parks.

Defra has also reduced its funding for a move to shared premises with New Forest District Council at Lymington to £1.8m, but the move will still go ahead.

Ms Barnes said: ‘We are unable to continue in our current premises at Everton as the planning permission expires soon. The refit of the Lymington Town Hall buildings will now have to be scaled down but we are confident we can still get a good solution for our visitors, staff and tax payers.’

In addition the National Park Authority, like all other planning authorities, has had its Planning Delivery Grant of £110,000 removed.

-ends-

Media Contact:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646600
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

More articles in the news archive.

New Forest National Park Authority news feed

Tools

image-fade-right image-fade-left