Union’s fears over Wakehurst Place ‘spending cuts’

JPMT - Wakehurst Place SUS-150723-142656003
JPMT - Wakehurst Place SUS-150723-142656003

Members of the GMB union fear there could be job cuts at Wakehurst Place in Ardingly after spending cuts were agreed this week by Defra.

The union says that four senior managers at Wakehurst, the Sussex branch of the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew - and at Kew - have already left.

They say restructuring is now underway following a 30 per cent funding cut agreed by Defra on Monday.

Paul Grafton, GMB regionalofficer, said: “These are anxious times for staff.”

But a spokeswoman for Royal Botanic Gardens Kew said: “Although recent headlines have suggested that Defra will be making reductions of around 30 per cent in its operating expenditure over the next four years, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s funding will only become apparent after the spending review announcements are published later this month.

“We are in ongoing, active discussions with Defra regarding RBG, Kew’s funding, and the Executive Board and Trustees are dedicated to working for the best possible outcome for both RBG, Kew and Wakehurst.”

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