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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Threat to Lake District park authority jobs

Jobs could be lost as the Lake District National Park Authority squares up to losing more than a quarter of its budget as a result of cuts.

Executives are also looking at selling some property assets as part of an ongoing programme to make the most of its portfolio.

The organisation, responsible for protecting the landscape of more than 566,000 acres of lakeland, has given its 200 staff proposals on how it can operate with a reduced budget, including possible job cuts.

They have been given until next month to give their comments on the ideas.

The authority’s chief executive, Richard Leafe, said the changes had to happen as a result of Government cutbacks.

“Our budget has been reduced every year since the coalition came into power,” he told the News & Star. “In 2010 we received a grant of £7.2m, by 2015 it will be down to £5.2m.”

The figures represent a cut of 28 per cent. The authority has a wage bill of around £5m each year.

Mr Leafe added: “We are expecting any compulsory redundancies to be minimal, if we have any at all.”

He also said the authority had a voluntary redundancy system in place. Mr Leafe admitted that morale at the organisation had been affected by the news.

A spokeswoman said the authority had support in place for staff worried about the future.

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