York pencilled in for Tour de Yorkshire stage finish

But questions arise after figures emerge showing the council overspent by £60,000 on the Tour de France

The Press reports that York has been earmarked to be one of the stage finishes in next year’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire. However, the news comes amid criticism for the city council’s management of Tour de France budgets with figures revealing that it overspent by £60,000.

The Tour de Yorkshire is set to run from May 1-3. With a UCI ranking of 2.1, the three-day stage race will see many of the world’s top riders back racing in the county following the success of this year’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France. The plan is for three full stages, a women’s race and a mass participation sportive.

However, a leaked internal paper written by council communities director, Sally Burns, reveals that the Grand Départy concert held at Huntington Stadium cost £206,000 but only brought in £19,000. On top of this, council-run campsites lost the authority £33,000 and there were £23,000 of costs from the cultural festival linked to the Tour de France.

Liberal Democrat leader Keith Aspden said:

“There are serious questions to be asked as to how the council lost money on the Tour de France. We argued all along that Labour needed to produce a proper public business case backed-up with detailed financial plans for these events.”

Councillor Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure and culture, responded by saying:

“Although we are disappointed the event was slightly over budget, overall the event was a huge success and Labour being prepared to invest this money to support local business and a cycling legacy for York we feel was the right decision for the city. The economic impact was significant.”

In a statement reacting to the criticism, Burns also pointed out that supply of safety barriers, stewards and medical suppliers cost the city £110,000 more than expected as part of a contract that was jointly negotiated for all areas which hosted the event.

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