Robin Meltzer, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigner for the Richmond Park constituency, has welcomed the announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, that the Government will continue current levels of funding for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew until at least April 2015.
The funding had previously been cut by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, prompting protests not just locally but across the world. But now, Government funding for Kew will be maintained at the same levels as it was for 2013-14.
Robin Meltzer said:
"This is a welcome step in the right direction for what must be a sensible long-term funding plan for Kew Gardens."
"Kew Gardens attracts tourists from all over the world to Richmond, but it is much more than a beautiful place to visit. Kew employs some of the finest scientists not just in this country, but in their field internationally."
"The work that Kew does globally on protecting landscapes and crops, and helping communities mitigate and adapt to climate change, is world-class. So are its unprecedented botanical archives, with samples of plants dating back hundreds of years."
"Like thousands of other local residents, I am a regular visitor to Kew Gardens. For us, it is a source of enormous pride to have the botanical gardens in our area and I am thrilled that the request by thousands of people around the world to restore proper funding to Kew Gardens has been successful. It's not a time for complacency, however, and I will continue to campaign to ensure that proper Government protection for Kew continues in the years to come, even as Kew continues to successfully expand its own revenue-generating operations."