Broads suffering too

Published: Thursday, 30 September 2010

IT IS not only British Waterways and the Environment Agency that are suffering from lack of funding, the Broads too are due for drastic cuts.

The Broads Authority admits it is facing a 'huge challenge' due to a massive cut in its funding from the government over the next few years, as Defra has warned of of 30% cut in its grant.

Adverse effect

Staffing levels and services will both be affected, that will have an adverse effect at the time the Broads is bidding to boost tourism by being named as a world heritage site and the Broads Tourism Forum is leading a concerted campaign to re-brand it as 'Britain's Magical Water Land'.

Emergency plans have been put in motion to deal with the expected cut in grant that would mean a fall from the original settlement for 2010/11 of £4.44m  to £2.96m by 2014/15.


The Authority too, like British Waterways and the Environment Agency, is looking to volunteers to fill the vacancies that would be created, also leaving some work to the private sector, and also like British Waterways, considering its whole structure.

Peter Horsefield, Chairman of the Broads Society, suggested cost savings could better be made by examining the duplicating roles of Defra, Natural England, the Environment Agency and other bodies.

Chief Executive John Packman, (picture by Anthony Kelly) told that salaries equated to 60% of the Authority's core income, and a reduction in its grant on such a large scale 'cannot be accommodated by natural wastage or by retirement alone'.

Reviews under way

A series of service reviews is at present underway looking at all areas of the organisation which could be affected by the grant cuts, with recommendations to be aired at the Broads Authority meeting on 19th November.

John Packman believed that the future would mean developing staff to tackle different jobs, sharing equipment and pooling resources for large jobs and relying on internal resources where possible.