Hull Council to withhold further Welcome to Yorkshire funding after leader quits board

Stephen Brady resigned from the Welcome to Yorkshire board on Monday.
Stephen Brady resigned from the Welcome to Yorkshire board on Monday.
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Hull Council is to withhold further funding for Welcome to Yorkshire until investigations relating to departure of the tourism agency's ex-chief executive Sir Gary Verity are complete.

The council's leader Stephen Brady resigned from the Welcome to Yorkshire board on Monday after saying he had been kept in the dark about concerns relating to expense claims by Sir Gary, as well as allegations of poor behaviour towards staff.

The council gives Welcome to Yorkshire over £7,200 per year but Coun Brady has now said no further funding will be provided until two independent investigations into the matters are concluded.

It follows Sheffield Council suspending its £50,000-per-year funding for Welcome to Yorkshire last week on the same grounds.

In an official statement, Coun Brady said: "Whilst I am a strong and passionate advocate of the Yorkshire brand, and the great work that many Welcome to Yorkshire staff have undertaken with partners to develop this over many years, I have had no option to but to resign from the Welcome to Yorkshire board, given the seriousness of the developing allegations and the lack of clarity and transparency provided to me since being invited to join the board late last year, including at my first board meeting on March 12, 2019.

“It is absolutely essential that the investigations into these issues are entirely independent, are conducted with complete transparency and rigour and that all findings and recommendations are fully published.

"Hull City Council will continue its membership of Welcome to Yorkshire but will not be making any further contributions until these are investigations are completed and any actions or changes recommended by the investigations are implemented.”

Following Coun Brady's resignation on Monday, a Welcome to Yorkshire spokesperson said: "We maintain a very close working relationship with Hull City Council to deliver their service level agreement.

"We understand the need for assurance to all of our partners and that’s why we are carrying out two independent investigations into expenses, behaviour and governance and the findings of these will be reported in a clear and transparent way in due course."