Welcome to Yorkshire farce insults tourism industry – The Yorkshire Post says

EVEN by its own standards, Welcome to Yorkhire’s latest board meeting was bizarre and illustrative of its continuing disarray two years to the month after Peter Box promised a new era of “honesty, transparency and integrity”.

Peter Box has gone back on his word to step down as chair of Welcome to Yorkshire.

It had been called to address the resignation of chief executive James Mason and half of all board members. Yet the meeting lasted a perfunctory 15 minutes and overlooked all critical questions of governance.#

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Instead it was agreed that Mr Box, the veteran former leader of Wakefield Council, would remain as chair, having previously signalled its intention to stand down in light of recent ructions, and the much-troubled tourism agency’s future put on indefinite hold. In short, the brief exchanges posed more questions than answers.

James Mason - the man hired to replace Sir Gary Verity as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire - has now resigned from the organisation.

And while the suggestion, afterwards, is that this hiatus paves the way for the leaders of Yorkshire’s councils – the primary financial backers of Welcome to Yorkshire – to determine its future on November 18, including its probable return to the public sector, Mr Box’s lack of candour is risible.

Indeed, it is as contemptible as the reluctance of his senior staff to answer basic questions satisfactorily from The Yorkshire Post about the agency’s management, financial structure, repayment of a loan to North Yorkshire County Council and other matters in the public interest.

Taxpayers deserve respect that still hasn’t been forthcoming and it is fanciful to think that Welcome to Yorkshire, in its current state, can recruit a new chief executive who can spearhead this county’s £9bn a year tourism industry.

The best hope is that the Yorkshire Leaders Board, comprising town hall leaders, seizes the initiative – and begins consulting with industry experts – so it can reach a decision that is in the best interests of all those families whose livelihoods depend on a thriving visitor economy.

Welcome to Yorkshire has been embroiled in scandals since the depature of Sir Gary Verity - the man who brought the Tour de Yorkshire to the county.

They remain the most important people of all.

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