Richmondshire District Council waiting for results of Welcome to Yorkshire investigation

The Tour de Yorkshire comes to Richmond in 2018. Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Richmondshire District Council says it is waiting for the outcome of an independent investigation before making a decision on its relationship with Welcome to Yorkshire.

This week, Scarborough Council announced it was to carry out an investigation into its dealings with the embattled tourism organisation.

The body hit the headlines following the resignation of its chief executive Sir Gary Verity following concerns over his behaviour and expense claims.

Following the news of the allegations surrounding Sir Gary, some councils in Yorkshire, including Sheffield and Hull,  have withdrawn their funding to the organisation.

Since then, the body’s chairman, Ron McMillan, has also left his post and two independent investigations are underway and are due to release their findings in June.

However, Richmondshire District Council spokesperson told Richmondshire Today the authority was waiting for the results of the investigations, and WTY’s responses to those, before making any decision on its future relationship with the body.

“In the meantime it is business as usual,” the spokesperson added.

It cost Richmondshire District Council around £220,000 for Richmond to be the start of a stage in last year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

The council pays an annual membership fee of £10,000 to the tourism body.

While not withdrawing its financial support to the organisation, Scarborough Council’s audit committee confirmed last week that an in-depth investigation into the council’s relationship with Welcome to Yorkshire would be undertaken to see if the council was getting value for money from its partnership with the Tour de Yorkshire organiser.

Committee member and Labour leader Cllr Steve Siddons told last Thursday’s meeting that it was crucial the investigation was carried out quickly.

He said: “The timescale is crucial as not everyone thinks that Welcome to Yorkshire will exist in a few months time.”

A Welcome to Yorkshire spokeswoman said: ‘The Tour de Yorkshire is a joint venture between Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO).
“Local authorities this year have paid between £100,000 and £125,000 to be a start or finish of the Tour de Yorkshire depending on if they host just the men’s race or the men’s and women’s races together.

“Last year, the Tour de Yorkshire generated £98 million for the county’s economy with visitor spend up 54% on the previous year. 2.6 million people watched the action at the roadside with 12.5 million people tuning in, in 190 countries across the world.”