Jobs to go at Pugneys Country Park as Wakefield Council approves cost-cutting plan

editorial image
4
Have your say

Staff will lose their jobs an at Pugneys Country Park after cost-cutting proposals were voted through by Wakefield Council.

Eight jobs will go after the council decided to cut its funding for Pugneys by £230,000 a year.

The council, which is facing £185m in cuts to its budget by 2020, will also increase parking charges to help keep the park running.

It currently costs 30p to park for up to one hour at Pugneys, 60p for up to two hours, £2 for up to four hours and £4 for more than four hours.

A report to today’s meeting said the new charges could be between 80p and £1 for up to one hour, £2.50 for up to four hours and £4 for more than four hours.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet voted to impose cost-cutting measures, then encourage businesses to invest in Pugneys to encourage more people to use the park.

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The first phase is to bring the park back in order and save £230,000 of subsidy.

“We do need to look at how we take Pugneys forward, that’s the real key, for future generations, not just this generation.”

Wakefield Council has been subsidising Pugneys at around £260,000 a year.

But the council must slash £23m from its budget this year and £38m next year to meet government spending cuts.

Coun Shaw added: “It’s not just about the cuts. We can’t keep subsidising any organisation at this level.”

Under phase two of the council’s plan for Pugneys, the council will encourage investment in the park to turn it into a tourist destination.

Denise Jeffery, deputy council leader, told today’s meeting: “I would say that Pugneys is a jewel in the crown for Wakefield. I do think we could bring in some commercialism to move it forward.”