North West Wales

Snowdonia National Park's new chief warns of job cuts

Snowdonia National Park
Image caption Snowdonia National Park Authority employs 160 staff

The new chief executive of Snowdonia National Park Authority has warned of job cuts ahead.

Emyr Williams described financial pressure as the single greatest challenge facing him in his new post.

He said charges for car parking and using education facilities within the park may also have to rise.

Snowdonia National Park Authority employs 160 staff with head offices at Penrhyndeudraeth near Porthmadog.

The national park covers 823 sq miles of land, mostly in the county of Gwynedd but also in Conwy.

Mr Williams told the BBC's Newyddion 9 programme that the authority was looking at job cuts in the new year as financial pressures increased and budgets were cut.

"The Brecon Beacons National Park has already announced it is looking at cutting eight jobs but up to now we have held back from beginning consultation," he said.

"'That will begin in the new year, so by February or March we will know what the situation is here."

He said parking prices, and also the charges made for the use of educational facilities at the park's Plas Tan y Bwlch centre, in Maentwrog, would also probably have to increase.

"Unfortunately jobs will have to go, and that will have an effect on a small body which is a fairly major employer in a rural setting," he added.

The chair of the park authority, Caerwyn Roberts, said: "These are challenging times for Wales' national parks and Emyr Williams's strong leadership will be a valuable asset to us as the authority faces the tough challenges ahead."

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