GREENMEADOW Community Farm's future has been cast in to doubt after facing £200,000 of cuts.

The popular farm has its running costs subsidised by Torfaen council, with the council contributing £300,000 a year to the running of the farm.

The farm needs £800,000 a year to operate, and brings in about £500,000 in revenue.

But after the confirmation of the latest budget, the council has proposed reducing its subsidy by 66 per cent.

This drastic reduction in funding has left staff at the farm fearing for its future.

One member of staff at the farm said: “What we currently offer, we can’t do that with the cuts.

“It is going to change things drastically.

“The first we heard about it was in January, we had no idea that the cuts would be so drastic.

“A couple of years ago we had to make £80,000 of cuts. That was a huge achievement.

“It’s a community farm, and there is so much that we do for different sections of the community.

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“It’s really important that we can offer that.

“The farm is something that is at the heart of the community. Lots of people who visit the farm came here when they were children, and are now bringing their children.

“We have been really busy and really popular this year.

“Yes, it is expensive, but we do great things and it is really positive to have in the community.

“To save that amount of money would change what we can offer drastically.”

The council’s cleaner communities overview and scrutiny committee has been discussing potential cost-cutting measures that the council could take, with a task and finish group looking in to the farm’s current arrangements.

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The group was set up in January, and its report on the farm and its finances is expected to be finished by Wednesday, March 27, with a special committee meeting taking place on that date.

These cost cutting measures include reducing the range of animals, having a vending only option in the café to reduce costs, using some of the land to develop a camp site or to hold festivals during the summer months and disposing of some of the land held by the farm.

A council spokesman said: “As part of developing the 2019/20 budget, and delivering on the council’s Corporate Plan priorities, consideration was given to a range of functions, services and activities that do not form part of the council’s priority services.

“One of the areas identified was Greenmeadow Community Farm.


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“To fully understand the current arrangements at the farm, a task and finish group was established to review the proposed budget mitigation and to look at options for implementing and defining a preferred service model for the future.

“The task and finish group are concluding the report this week with a special committee taking place on March 27.”

Torfaen council approved a £176 million budget at a full council meeting earlier this month.

This budget featured about £3.5 million of savings.