The Yorkshire Post says: Growing Sir Gary Verity scandals pose tough questions for Welcome to Yorkshire

Sir Gary Verity has left Welcome to Yorkshire - but questions remain over his departure.
Sir Gary Verity has left Welcome to Yorkshire - but questions remain over his departure.
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One week on from the shock departure from Welcome to Yorkshire of its long-serving chief executive Sir Gary Verity, submissions made to this newspaper by former employees of its departed leader increase pressure on the tourism company to be transparent about the circumstances of his exit.

Certainly, in the absence of the efforts of the Welcome to Yorkshire team – this is and always has been a collective enterprise – this county would be much the poorer, economically and reputationally.

However, the nature of Sir Gary’s ugly departure means it is not only he who has questions to answer.

The accounts featured in this newspaper today, given by some of those people seemingly exposed to a culture of bullying and intimidation, poses questions also for those responsible for the oversight and governance of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Yorkshire’s 5.2m tax-paying residents, effectively shareholders in Welcome to Yorkshire, are looking to board chairman Ron McMillan for a full and proper explanation.

The precise errors of judgement by Sir Gary in relation to his expenses will – if the board of Welcome to Yorkshire does its job properly – come to light in the fullness of time so that people can make up their own minds on those misjudgements.

But in light of what has happened, if we are to have any faith in the organisation moving forwards, Welcome to Yorkshire must make public all of its expenses claims made during the last 10 years.

No organisation in receipt of such large amounts of public money can hope to keep secret the details of its expenditure in the wake of the emergence of any sort of expenses scandal.

And so this is what must happen next: 1) Welcome to Yorkshire must make public all expense claims made by its directors during the organisation’s lifetime.

2) The board must quickly and concisely set out its plan to restore confidence in the organisation, including a review of its own role in enabling this to happen on its watch.

Until Welcome to Yorkshire fulfils its obligations in this, pressure will mount – not least from this newspaper – on the chief executives of those local authorities paying in public money to cease doing so.