Petition backing Deen City Farm
A petition calling on Merton council to re-think its plans to cut funding to the popular Deen City Farm has now received nearly 800 signatures.
The council has already agreed to cut the Farm's funding by £15,000 in 2011-12 and has proposed cuts of £30,000 and £45,000 in the following years.
But Ben Cheetham, Project Manager of the Farm in Windsor Avenue, Merton Abbey, has said the cuts threaten the future of the farm, which attracts 30,000 annual visitors.
This year's cuts have been made by the borough council as part of a budget which sought to save £24 million.
Mr Cheetham has created the online petition on the council's website calling for the council to stop cutting its grant to the Farm and increase the annual grant in-line with inflation.
The petition states: "Local authority funding for the Farm is now £10,000 less than it was in 1993-4. The Farm understands that local authority resources are under intense pressure and cuts are inevitable. The Farm has been cut 12% in 2011-12. Further cuts of the same level are proposed for the next two years.
"We require support from the local community to oppose further cuts. It will be exceedingly difficult to keep the Farm going after this year’s cut. To continue operating after any further cut would be impossible.
"We need you to join us in telling Merton Council that they cannot afford to lose this vital community resource and need to continue with annual support in line with inflation.
"Our grant is back to the level it was in 1993/4. We would understand the need to cut our grant if it had risen over the years but it has only increased by inflation five times in the last 15 years. Back then the price of a bale of hay was under £2. It is now £5.50!! We can no longer deliver."
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May 1, 2011