Cambridge workers should be allowed time off to see the Tour de France pass through their home town next summer, according to a local councillor.
Ian Manning has asked the council to consider flexible working for its staff on July 7, and he’s now encouraging other local businesses to do the same.
It’s expected 400,000 people will come to Cambridge to watch the race depart for London, and Mr Manning has been criticised for failing to realise that council staff will be needed to man the event, and businesses could capitalise on the additional tourism if they open for the day.
Mr Manning’s motion, backed by the Cambridgeshire Lib Dems, will be considered at the next council meeting.
He wrote on his website: “This is a unique opportunity for the people of Cambridgeshire and it would be a real shame if they were to miss out on witnessing this historic event when flexible working could allow them to attend.
“I hope the county council and other businesses across Cambridgeshire will find ways to allow their staff to enjoy the event and be part of history in the making.”
Michael Wiseman, chairman of Cambridge Retail and Commercial Association told the Cambridge News: “The Tour is a big opportunity for Cambridge and I think businesses will have to balance their desire for staff to see some of it with the big economic possibility.
“It will be quite challenging for staff to get into work if they live in outlying areas so that will have to be one of the considerations.”
Cllr Martin Curtis, the council leader, said: “The first duty of the county council is to make sure we deliver the services which are statutory and the public need – paid for through their council tax.
“The authority already has a flexible working policy and like other major events, such as the Olympics, staff will need to talk to managers to see if they can use these flexible arrangements or annual leave to watch the Tour while making sure council services are still delivered.”
The full text of Cllr Manning’s motion reads:
This Council recognises the excellent working relationship which resulted in Cambridge City Council and this Council securing the third stage of the 2014 Tour de France in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.
This Council believes:
- The Tour is an overwhelmingly positive event for the City and the region and a unique opportunity for the people of Cambridgeshire
- That the Council has a role in encouraging a strong show of support from local residents, businesses and voluntary groups.
However, this Council notes:
- The date of the Tour, 7th July, is a Monday and therefore it will be difficult for those who work full time to witness it first hand
Therefore, this Council resolves to;
- Allow staff & managers flexibility in operational arrangements to enable attendance by staff at the event
- Publicly encourage Cambridgeshire businesses to do the same