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Opposition Raise Concerns Over York Tour de France Organisation


6:01am 6th June 2014

Opposition councillors have raised concerns about York Council's organisation of the Tour de France, exactly a month until the Grand Depart comes to the city.

It comes after it was revealed yesterday that the planned Spectator Hub for Monk Stray would move to another location. Yesterday, York Council could not say where the Spectator Hub would move to but that early indications on an alternative venue were "very favourable".

Sally Burns, Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at York Council said yesterday: “As preparations to celebrate the Tour de France progress, plans are afoot to consider a new location for the Monk Stray Spectator Hub."

“Accommodating residents and visitors, listening and responding to local people concerns about current ground conditions due to heavy recent rain, supporting the sporting legacy of the Tour in York, as well as the prevailing weather conditions have all been factored into a decision to consider relocating the spectator hub."

“Alternatives are currently being investigated, with early indications being very favourable."

But reacting to yesterday evening's news, opposition councillors spoke to Minster FM of their fears that the benefits from hosting the Tour de France in York could be lost.

The city's Conservative leader Chris Steward said: "It's ridiculous that a month out from the Tour de France coming to York, that the council is rummaging round trying to find another hub. It's just been badly organised throughout."

Liberal Democrat Nigel Ayre, who led the campaign against plans for eight metre gates on Monk Stray, said: "It's an amazing opportunity that Welcome to Yorkshire have achieved in bringing this [the Tour de France] to Yorkshire and it just seems this administration has completely mishandled the whole process from start to finish."

The Labour cabinet member in charge of the Tour de France, Sonja Crisp, said last night that she is holding a Tour de France update meeting with council officers tomorrow and will speak to Minster FM when she has the latest information to hand.

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