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North York Moors National Park reviews spending
The National Park has already reduced staff numbers by 11%

Officials at the North York Moors National Park are asking the public how expenditure should be controlled following spending cuts.

The authority will lose nearly a quarter of its government funding over the next four years.

Officials say they are determined that decisions on spending reflect the views of those who live in or visit North Yorkshire.

The park is relying on volunteers after cutting staff numbers by 11%.

The North York Moors National Park Authority, as with other national park authorities in England, is funded in the main by a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

In December 2010, Defra announced the settlement for the North York Moors would be reduced to £4.3 million by 2014/15, from £5.1 million for 2011/12.

That represents a reduction of 21.5% over the next four years and follows a cut of 5% in the current year's grant.

Making savings

Andy Wilson, the North York Moors National Park Authority's chief executive, said they had already made progress in making savings by cutting staff numbers and keeping salaries under control as well as increasing the use of volunteers.

He said: "We will continue to look at ways to reduce our expenditure including sharing and outsourcing more services to maximise value for money.

"However, the challenge we face as our grant is cut further is significant and we need to decide what we continue to do.

"Difficult decisions will need to be made and we want people's input on priorities."

The authority has launched an online consultation which will run until Friday 18 March 2011.

People are asked to nominate which services, ranging from providing toilets and car parks to giving grants to landowners and community groups, are most important to them.

The responses will be used to draw up budget and service proposals for 2012 to 2015.

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