Snowdonia has some of the most popular walking destinations. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Snowdonia has some of the most popular walking destinations. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The head of Snowdonia national park says further redundancies are inevitable after the authority was told its government grant will be restricted.

By 2020, the authority will be receiving less money from the Welsh Government than it was in 2001, it said.

The Penrhyndeudraeth-based body said it faces difficult decision addressing the financial challenge. A spokesperson said: “The reduction in the authority’s budget is equivalent to a 5 per cent cut in each of the next two years, which is a total saving of £784,087.

“This includes other considerations such as inflation, salary inflation and the fact that the authority has had to deal with the effects of regular reductions in its budget during the last ten years.

“In 2020, the authority’s Welsh Government grant and levy will be £4,484,669 – less than what the authority received in 2001: £4,535,480. Considering salary inflation and general inflation over the last 20 years, the authority today has significantly less resources to carry out its purposes.”

In the past, it said, the national park authority achieved £1.2m of savings since 2014, together with generating £1.8m of additional income, through sources such as parking fees, information centres, Plas Tan y Bwlch study centre, planning fees and pre-planning advice fees. But it said this is not enough to close the financial gap facing the authority.

Snowdonia had three walking areas included in the recent ITV 100 Favourite Walks programme, with two routes in the top 10: Tryfan and Snowdon, which was second-placed and one of the most popular walking destinations in the country.

Snowdonia national park chief executive Emyr Williams. Photo: Alan Dop

Snowdonia national park chief executive Emyr Williams. Photo: Alan Dop

Emyr Williams, chief executive of Snowdonia National Park Authority said: “Responding to a challenge such as this is extremely hard and our staff are facing difficult and worrying times.

“We are a small authority that has already lost 40 valuable jobs in the last 10 years, accomplishing more now than 20 years ago but within a much smaller budget.”

Authority chairman Owain Wyn added: “As an authority, we must consider now how we carry out our work, how we will deliver our services together and prioritising those services which are essential to fulfilling our purposes.

“At the same time, we have to comply with and respond to laws such as the Well-being of Future Generations Act, Environment Act 2016 and ‘Taking Wales Forward’ which helps us to guide the direction of our work.

“We will also set out strategic objectives for the authority’s wellbeing objectives.

“Unfortunately, redundancy is inevitable in a situation such as this and losing anyone from our workforce will have a detrimental effect on our work.”

The Snowdonia authority said consultations with staff, partners, stakeholders and unions ended on Friday and members will determine how it will respond to the 2018-19 financial challenge on 7 February.

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