Row Over York Hosting Costs for Tour de France Continues
6:02am 15th February 2013
The City of York council says it's too soon to publish the costs of hosting the second day of the Tour de France.
Welcome to Yorkshire estimates the cost to the county will be £10 million, it's claimed £3.6 million will be paid for by Leeds.
But the city council says it still needs more details of the route before it can create a realistic budget.
Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York council said:
“We are working closely with Welcome to Yorkshire, other local authorities and ASO (the organisers) to define the detail of the Tour, including the technical specifications. This will lead to much greater definition of the budget. Welcome to Yorkshire have estimated the broad costs for the Tour as £10m, with a return on investment of £100m.
“As the lead authority, Leeds have worked through a budget estimate for their section of Le Grand Depart. The general routes were advised on Thursday 17th January and further technical details relevant to each venue and route will be forthcoming over the next few months, which will enable each authority to refine these costs to create realistic budgets.
“Welcome to Yorkshire and the Yorkshire local authorities are currently investigating a range of funding streams to support the hosting costs, the event delivery and the long term cycling strategy.
“During the bidding process Welcome to Yorkshire did talk to a range of organisations and authorities about their experiences of hosting the Tour. The economic impact of the Tour de France in the UK in 2007 is a matter of public record and easily available on the Internet. Using the data from the 2007 event in the UK the early estimate for Economic impact is £100m and a detailed study will be undertaken to assess both the economic and social impact of the event.”
Opposition Lib Dems want the full costs of the Tour in York to be published and are calling for businesses which benefit to contribute towards the cost.
Yesterday the party's Nigel Ayre said:
“This is not about whether hosting the Tour is a good or bad thing; it is about being open with the public. Figures from Leeds show that they are expecting to spend around £3.6million staging the event. One would expect the figure for York to be broadly similar; however, so far the Labour Cabinet have not revealed anything beyond the initial £500,000 hosting fee."
“We also need answers as to what, if any, contribution businesses will make. After all, it would make sense if those that most benefitted financially from the event contributed to the cost. It is also unclear what, if any, funding opportunities will actually be available. At the moment the whole thing is shrouded in secrecy.”
Labour leader James Alexander has responded by accusing the party of wanting a new business tax.
The Liberal Democrats says they does not want to bring in a new tax.
Nigel Ayre says talks about possible contributions from business can't take place until the costs are revealed.
Yesterday Councillor Ayre said:
“We have also asked for a guarantee that areas off the route will not be penalized. We know Leeds are spending around £1million on road resurfacing. Any similar spending in York should not come from general road maintenance budgets. It should not be case that residents in Heworth Without or Huntington don’t get potholes repaired because the money is diverted to the Tour route."
Chief Executive of the city council Kersten England has responded:
“The exact route to be taken through and around York has yet to be finalised by ASO. We expect the road maintenance budget to be added to as necessary, to meet specifications for the Tour de France. Clearly, should road maintenance have been planned for roads which are also part of the route, this would come out of the maintenance budgets planned for this very purpose.”
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