"I can't get litter bins" says Martyn Levitt...

Welwyn Garden City councillor Martyn Levitt has criticised Welwyn Hatfield Council’s spending £50,000 to host the second-last stage of The Women’s Tour on May 10.

He told Ewan Foskett of Welwyn Hatfield Times “When I have been a councillor for Haldens [Welwyn Garden City] I have wanted to get litter bins and I can’t get litter bins, I’m told we don’t have money.

“But we have money to fritter away on this.”

He said that he did not think the event was “giving good value for people who are paying council tax”.

Councillor Levitt,a member of the majority Tory group on the council, is stepping down at May’s election. Described as a keen cyclist, he said he did not think hosting the finish of the race would help promote sport in the area.

“The Tour of Britain had Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, household names,” he said.

“It got very little television coverage, what hope is there [the women’s tour] will raise £50,000?

“[Council leader] John Dean has said they will get sponsorship, I don’t think they will, if they thought they would it would be referred to in the budget.”

The Women’s Tour starts in Oundle on Wednesday May 7, and finishes in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday May 11. Welwyn Garden City hosts the finish of stage four, which starts in Cheshunt.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.