Call to end taxpayer funding of Tour de Yorkshire rejected

A call to reconsider the funding of the Tour de Yorkshire by council taxpayers has been rejected.

Councillor Eric Broadbent, leader of the Labour group on North Yorkshire County Council told a meeting of the full authority there was a groundswell of opinion that the races through the county should be purely privately-funded.

Following the success of the first two Tour de Yorkshire races, the council’s executive agreed to allocate £180,000 a year for the race in 2017 and 2018, despite facing having to make cutbacks to frontline services.

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Cllr Broadbent said Scarborough Borough Council was examining the economic benefits of staging the races.

He said: “I watched the race and enjoyed it immensely and note the pleasure it brought to all our residents and especially the schoolchildren who turned out. In Scarborough, where the race ended, there are a lot of unfortunate people who struggle to make ends meet.

“They have been calling and emailing me and say they fail to see why through their council tax they should subsidise the race. Perhaps this could be done through some form of private investment.”

The authority’s leader Councillor Carl Les said he welcomed the benefits assessment by the borough council.

He added: “I think that it will prove that it is a great race and that it does actually bring a lot of wealth into the county. I think there’s a good balance between the private and public sectors.

“The private sector does sponsor a lot of the activities in the Tour de Yorkshire. You may be picking up messages in your community that people are upset about that, but the ones I’ve received are that people do like the county council being involved in the race.”