Over the decades one of the few letters I have sent to The Yorkshire Post that wasn’t published was sent in February 2016.
I may have been regarded as a bit radical in what I said: “There appears to be public resentment at Gary Verity not being awarded some ‘honour’ at the New Year, for the way in which he and his team managed the Yorkshire bit of the Tour de France last summer. However, as the figurehead of ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ I assume he is paid a fairly substantial figure. Therefore he was in fact doing his job, doing what he was paid to do. That then raises the question of why does he (or others in similar situations) need some ‘honour’ to award him for carrying out what he had been paid to do?”
Of course now we all know that one of these ‘honours’ was bestowed upon Verity at a later date, and we also are fully aware of the dire mess that Welcome to Yorkshire is now in.
We have recently witnessed another cycling event (the fourth in as many years) which seems to have caused consternation throughout rural North Yorkshire; Harrogate in grid-lock for days on end and the ridiculous situation of having the event in Northallerton on market day and cancelling the weekly market.
Businesses in Masham and Ripon had to close for several days, due to road closures, as they had experienced abysmal trading on the previous occasions, despite the nonsense of it bringing anticipated millions into the area and the anticipated colossal television coverage.
We are now informed that North Yorkshire County Council lent Welcome to Yorkshire £500,000, at interest marginally over the bank rate. What safety net is protecting rate payers’ hard-earned money?
If Welcome to Yorkshire is a bit strapped for cash, and is obviously making little out of bike races, and in the past has been badly managed, does it really have a future? Bring back the old Yorkshire Tourist Board, they wouldn’t have been so covert over fiscal problems.