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"Not As Successful As Hoped" Council Leader's Verdict on Grand Departy Concert

James Alexander 121114

4:53pm 12th November 2014

York Council leader James Alexander has said the Grand Departy concert was "not as successful as we would've hoped" in response to calls from opposition Lib Dems for an inquiry into the event.

The event at the Huntington Stadium made a £187,000 loss and it's emerged safety officers had eighteen separate concerns about the concert. Opposition Lib Dem councillors are calling for an inquiry into the event.

However, York Labour and the city council have pointed out the benefits of the Tour de France with an economic boost of £150 million predicted for Yorkshire.

The cabinet member for tourism, Sonja Crisp, had been blamed by some for the Grand Departy concert with Conservatives calling for her resignation. But James Alexander has hit back saying the event was his responsibility, he told Minster FM:

There has been some misunderstanding relating to Cabinet Member responsibility for different aspects of the Tour de France. The sporting event, namely the race, and the 100 day cultural festival were the responsibility of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism.  The remainder, including supporting events and income generation surrounding the Tour were Cabinet Leader responsibilities.

“While the concert was not as successful as we would’ve hoped, overall the Tour De France was a success and has brought significant economic benefits to the city and to the region”.

Conservative leader Chris Steward has called on James Alexander to stand down.

"It is important that we do not gloss over failings on parts of the TDF with the overall success of the project. Gross incompetence from the Labour Cabinet has led to the Grand Depart being a potentially safety nightmare and caused a loss of nearly £200,000 for the city. The cabinet must be accountable rather than merely there for the good news press releases. It seems the cabinet leader is for the first time in his career taking responsibility for something and we would accept his resignation, as has been called for many times before, if he thinks the blame is his rather than Cllr Crisps’s."

James Alexander tells Minster FM lessons will be learnt from the event.


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