More funds worries for parks managers

Whether or not you agree that councils hit by the sinking of Landsbanki and Glitnir banks were foolhardy to continue to invest in them after their shares were downgraded by ratings agencies - or that they were simply badly advised - the real worry is that the potential impact on council service provision of this latest chapter in the financial crisis may be the tip of the iceberg.

The concern now among parks specialists is that the Government's unprecedented payments to shore up UK banks may be paid for, at least in part, by a squeeze on public expenditure (news, p3). If the rate support grant to local authorities is cut, green space leaders fear that, as usual, parks will be the first to suffer because of their non-statutory status.

Figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reported in The Times earlier this week show that taken together, the nationalisation of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, and now the £50bn bank recapitalisation plan, could push the Government's debt to 50 per cent of national income - its highest for 30 years and, as the IFS points out, well above the 40 per cent ceiling Gordon Brown set himself when he was chancellor.

It is difficult to calculate the long-term cost of the extra debt, as it includes emergency measures the Treasury hopes to reverse. But the problem is that these measures have come at a time when the underlying health of public finances is poor and, most recently, exacerbated by factors such as a sharp fall in stamp-duty revenues caused by the housing crisis. Green space managers who have had to become adept at finding new ways to fund projects will once again need to bring out their most creative thinking.

Voice your concerns over EU pesticide proposals

With a crucial vote on the EU's controversial pesticide proposals due at the European Parliament's environment committee in the first week of November, industry bodies are calling for horticulture professionals to write now to the members of the committee with their concerns (news, p8). The message is simple - to reject the stricter amendments being debated and that an EU-wide impact assessment must be carried out before proposals become law.

- Email: kate.lowe@haymarket.com.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon