Visitors to Snowdonia face increased car parking charges. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Visitors to Snowdonia face increased car parking charges. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Snowdonia National Park Authority will cut back on its rights of way work and seek to increase income from its car parks, following a reduction of almost £800,000 in its budget.

Members voted to implement a package that will lead to further job losses, the authority said.

A spokesperson said it was faced with difficult decisions following the cut in grant from the Welsh Government, which equates to a 5 per cent reduction over the next two years. Three-quarters of the national park’s cash comes from the Cardiff administration, with the remaining funding coming from local authority levies.

A meeting of the authority at the Plas Tan y Bwlch education centre on Wednesday agreed the measures.

Chief executive Emyr Williams said: “It’s a difficult and extremely worrying time for us as staff and for authority members.

“We have already lost 40 valuable jobs in the past 10 years, which is a huge loss to this rural area. Today we have had to consider more job losses, although we need to accomplish more now than at any other time in our history.”

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

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

Among plans agreed were an increase of £232,684 in income mainly from car parks and fees at Plas Tan y Bwlch.

It was also agreed savings of £170,018 could be made in several ways, including providing more information electronically rather than on paper, closing toilets at Morfa Dyffryn and reducing the workload of internal audit.

Authority members were told savings of £295,727 can be made during 2018-19 and 2019-2020 by reducing grants for tree work, reducing spending on public rights of way and reducing spending on contractors. “Unfortunately, these steps will unavoidably impact jobs within the authority,” the spokesperson said.

Chair of the authority Owain Wyn said: “It has been a gruelling task for members to decide how we deliver our services, prioritise those services that are essential in delivering our purposes and trying to protect as many jobs as possible at the same time.

“Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we had no option other than to consider redundancies, even though this will have a detrimental effect on our work.”

Further consultation will now take place with staff who face losing their jobs.

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