MPs expected to criticise Kew in new report

The Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee will release a report on Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will be published on 4 March.

Kew has cut 100 jobs after a £5m budget shortfall, which prompted the committee hearing.

Committee chairman Andrew Miller, who led MPs at a select committee hearing at Kew in December, in which Kew director Richard Deverell and Defra minister Lord de Mauley were questioned, told Horticulture Week last month: "It's clear that despite the goodwill on the part of Lord de Mauley he hasn't got the clout to bring about what's necessary.

"It needs a (senior) minster to knock heads together and bring together the relevant departments. Culture, Media & Sport, Defra, Education and Business, Innovation & Skills increasingly govern overall responsibility for science budgets. All have different responsibilities in Kew and all have quietly left it to Defra."

He added that any clear strategy is missing. "There is a lack of engagement from Government departments and the fact that Kew has suffered from funding problems as well, altogether that is a recipe for disaster if someone doesn't get to grips with it," said Miller.

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