Wales

Wales's national parks face 'serious cuts' to budget

Brecon Beacons Image copyright Dan Santillo

A conservation charity director has raised concerns about Wales' three national parks amid possible 5% budget cuts.

The Welsh government has said it has yet to confirm the budgets for Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons national parks.

But John Harold from the Snowdonia Society said an anticipated 5% reduction represented "serious cuts" to the organisations running the parks.

They have said jobs could be at risk.

The society believes the cuts could make the parks more vulnerable to calls for local councils to take over some of their work, including planning policy.

'Spending priorities'

Funding for national parks in England has been protected for five years by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement.

But as well as a 5% cut for next financial year, Welsh national parks have been warned they could face another similar cut the following year.

Snowdonia National Park chief executive Emyr Williams said the cuts mean services and jobs could be at risk.

And last week Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said it faced cutting jobs as it stood to lose £200,000 from its budget.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "It is essential we get the best outcome from the funds available in order to keep delivering for the people of Wales, and our national parks are at the heart of that delivery.

"We have to take difficult decisions in terms of spending priorities, but have informed partners of our spending plans throughout the process, to ensure they are able to continue to plan effectively."

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