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Park in U-turn on legal action.

NORTHUMBERLAND National Park will not take the Government to court over funding cuts.

The park authority has decided not to pursue its action against the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for failing to adequately consult with the authority and to properly apply a funding formula for national parks in deciding on the level of cuts.

During this year, and the next four years, national parks will see around 33% cuts in real terms in their funding from Defra.

Northumberland is the least funded park authority and, as it is currently under-funded according to Defra's own funding formula, it claims it faces a disproportionately significant impact.

Last month a meeting of authority members backed the sending of a Letter of Claim to Defra in respect of its funding settlement, because they said the decision had a disproportionate impact on Northumberland.

The budget reduction resulted in a 50% cut in the management staffing of the authority, major reductions in other posts and the cutting back of services. But after Defra responded, an executive group considered the potential consequences of initiating legal proceedings.

As a result it was concluded that legal proceedings would not be pursued, partly because of the cost.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 30, 2011
Words:202
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