The Guardian today highlights the dreadful cuts to the voluntary sector, imposed by local government directly, but indirectly by the government, more particularly by idiot Pickles. My two voluntary efforts have been affected for some time now and it will get worse.
Here is a quote from the National Park press release:-
For future years, the amount spent on rights of way will be reduced with the aim of maintaining existing high standards rather than further improvement.
From 2013, only the very highest priority work on the definitive map of rights of way will take place.
These rights of ways are statutory paths, walking is good for physical and mental health, but there is no choice as the money won't be there. Already none of the volunteer groups are taking on more people as there are not enough paid staff to safely supervise more of us. So, however much you feel moved to be part of The Big Society please don't try to do it with the North York Moors National Park. Don't blame them, this wasn't part of their planning.
I had hoped that a mark of a civilised society would be how we treated people like asylum seekers who flee from hardships we cannot even imagine, but not so. LASSN, like other charities trying to help asylum seekers, has lost funding this year from a variety of sources. Wonderful individual donors have rallied round, but with the cost of living increasing for how much longer?
I am not sorry that this is bit of a rant, the idea that vulnerable people and vulnerable countryside can be help together by the people equivalent of a small sticking plaster when a proper plaster cast is required is just laughable, or it would be if it wasn't so tragic. These organisations did not borrow money beyond their means, or live a life of bonuses, yet they are taking the punishment.