One Yorkshire would have run tourism agency better – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Dave Ellis, Hedon.

Does Welcome to Yorkshire's turmoil help or hinder the case for One Yorkshire?

I READ with interest the comments regarding the option of taking the promotion of Yorkshire’s tour back into the public sector (The Yorkshire Post, October 25).

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The last decade has shown that promoting tourism by a private owned company, Welcome to Yorkshire, has proven to be very expensive due to the lack of financial management by board members and management team.

Welcome to Yorkshire is in limbo following the resignation of chief executive James Mason.

A good example is the emergency loan of £500,000 when they wasted nearly £70,000 in interest charges which will have come out of the operational budget.

The last chief executive, James Mason, did a sterling job in promoting walking holidays in Yorkshire.

I hope that council leaders and the mayors of South and West Yorkshire get it right this time as so many livelihoods depends on Yorkshire’s tourism industry.

Former Wakefield Council leader Peter Box remains as chair of Welcome to Yorkshire - having previously promised to step down.

From: Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Leeds.

THE travails of ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ seem to have no end. Now we read that it may be brought into the public domain (The Yorkshire Post, October 23).

When two years ago I co-edited The Yorkshire Yellow Book which made the Liberal case for a ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution, we wrote: “The question the media have failed to ask is whether, had there been a ‘One Yorkshire’ authority in 2009 when the Yorkshire Tourist Board was re-branded as ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’, would it not have been run under the aegis of the public body? If so, then arguably the checks and balances of the public authority would have been better able to avoid its later difficulties.”

The same point is just as valid today. The many services that are Yorkshire-wide need a Yorkshire-wide public authority.

From: Steve Wilson, Idle, Bradford.

REFERRING to Bradford in his piece (The Yorkshire Post, October 23) on culture, David Behrens refers to my city as “one of waiting for change rather than instigating it”.

Bradford has indeed been on the back foot so far as comparisons with Leeds for several decades now, a period of staggeringly inept local government that has drained the confidence visibly from a once proud city.

That the current bid for UK City of Culture is not supported by the public is because there are far bigger issues facing Bradford that a few over-priced murals will never solve.

So far as “thriving on its own initiative”, Bradford’s so-called leadership is pitiful, largely because most of these people are simply out of their depth.

Only last week the Bradford BID team, a private company aligned to the council and funded in-part, announced its first major event this year – a firework display! We have them most nights of the week here so why spend thousands just to demonstrate to the public that you have no better ideas?

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