Time for the old Yorkshire Tourist Board team to make a comeback – Yorkshire Post letters

Sir Gary Verity, former chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire
Sir Gary Verity, former chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire
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From: Hugh Millington, Proprietor, The Sovereign Chauffeur Co, Wetherby.

AS a long-time member of Welcome To Yorkshire and its predecessor Yorkshire Tourism Board, and as a business beneficiary, I endorse many of the comments by David Behrens (The Yorkshire Post, March 30).

Dramatic downfall of Sir Gary Verity puts achievements in new light

However his critical view of ‘an agency that had existed for decades under various names but whose profile seldom rose above the median’ appears to fly in the face of the great team efforts of those involved ‘behind the scenes’ who were, and are, the paddles of the swan and who kept the agency swimming along so elegantly.

Has Mr Behrens forgotten the scoop of the decade in 2007 when Bollywood came to Yorkshire?

This was the first time ever anywhere in the world that a county, let alone a city or a country, had won the pitch to host the internationally prestigious IIFA Awards with astonishing media coverage worldwide and huge associated events, celebrity cricket, polo matches, fashion shows to name a few, that rocketed the profile of Yorkshire. Hardly ‘median profile’!

This came about under the leadership of David Andrews and the chairing of Judith Donovan, with a significantly smaller operating budget.

While there will be much poring over the entrails of the current debacle, the elephant in the room is the poor governance over this last period and a clean sweep is called for.

In the interim period, WTY could do worse than take a leaf out of Manchester United’s book of recovery-management and recall the inscrutable YTB team.

Fracking saddles up

From: Simon Bowens, Yorkshire & Humber/North East campaigner for Friends of the Earth, plus 41 anti-fracking local community groups.

WE were deeply disappointed to hear about the INEOS takeover of Team Sky, adding to their ‘greenwashing’ sponsorship of children running the Daily Mile and America’s Cup yachting (The Yorkshire Post, March 19).

At last year’s Tour de Yorkshire, Team Sky proudly carried the #PassOnPlastics logo.

Sadly, this year’s Tour – the first outing of Team INEOS – will be a different story as INEOS are one of the world’s largest plastic producers.

INEOS are also the major licence holders in England for industrialised fracking.

Their licences cover large tracts of our green and pleasant countryside, including areas of East, North and South Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

And they want to frack for gas to produce more plastic.

The Tour de Yorkshire is a fantastic attraction for millions of people to visit the county.

INEOS’s plans for hundreds of fracking wells will inevitably undermine that great work.

Faulty train, faultless staff

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

LAST Wednesday, my wife and I took a trip to Carlisle on the Settle-Carlisle line. The journey there was first class aboard a refurbished 158 with thankfully good leg room. We arrived five minutes early.

Pride comes before a fall. Return was on another class 158, the 14.50 ex-Carlisle and yet to be refurbished.

The crew spent some time trying to sort out problems with the rear coach, the engine of which had failed, not to mention the lighting too.

Eventually we set off 20 minutes late on an all-stations stopper. At each station we waited several minutes as the compressor keeping the brakes off was struggling to service both coaches. More unscheduled stops were made when the brakes leaked on.

Throughout, the crew kept us up to date until eventually we drifted into Appleby. Here the driver came through to speak to us personally advising that to continue would be ill-advised. They had a Plan B which involved waiting for the following unit the 16.19 ex-Carlisle to couple up and effectively get the train back to Leeds.

Meantime reclaim forms were handed out and free tea/coffee plus nibbles courtesy of the trolley service provided by the Settle Carlisle Development Company. The trolley attendant Andrea had only been with them two months yet, like the train crew, was brilliant. They got a round of applause from the passengers and it was noticeable to me that not one person complained in our coach.

That was down to communication, seemingly sadly a lost art in the higher echelons of Northern Rail.

Appointment a step forward

From: Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK Campaigns Manager.

SHEFFIELD City Region is to be applauded for the selection of Dame Sarah Storey as its new Active Travel Commissioner. She’s such a fantastic inspiration for so many people, and Cycling UK hopes her amazing achievements continue as she makes the Sheffield region a cycling and walking success.

The Sheffield City region has a real opportunity to show the rest of the UK how to make our urban areas places we want to stay and spend time in.

Although this study is based in the Sheffield region, it’s relevant for communities across the United Kingdom, especially for cities and towns crying out for investment.

We need to see ring-fenced Government funding for cycling and walking networks to enable councils to make the changes needed to create healthy streets for everyone.