Jobs axed as Peak’s budget is slashed

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JOBS are set to be lost at the Peak District National Park Authority and ‘efficiency savings’ made at visitor centres due to Government cuts.

Members of the authority agreed to a further £365,000 of permanent savings as part of a 30 per cent cut to its budget over four years.

The authority’s grant will fall from £7.85 million in 2011-12 to £6.5 million in 2014-15.

Savings are being made by not replacing five people leaving in voluntary redundancies and two through retirements. A further member of staff is at risk of compulsory redundancy.

The rest of the money needed will come through ‘income generation and efficiency savings’ in areas including visitor centres and conservation volunteers.

A further £224,000 of one-off savings will be made and the money re-used in 2013-14 to recruit two young apprentices, improve the authority’s website and continue work such as a public transport information project, developing cycling facilities and reversing the declines in wader birds.

Coun Tony Favell, chairman of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “Through careful financial management we are continuing to invest in some key services during 2013-14.

“I am particularly pleased that we are going to be taking on two apprentices, which will help young, local people to get jobs in this tough economic climate. They will learn practical skills that should set them up for a career in the environmental sector.

“At the same time we have taken some tough decisions to make £365,000 of savings.

“While we have minimised the impact on jobs as much as possible, you cannot make savings of that scale without having an effect on the service we provide to the public.”

The authority’s final budget for 2013-14 will be set at a meeting in February.