The Tour is coming to Yorkshire! For two whole days in July 2014! Great news for fans of the race like me, and party animals (there’s bound to be a lot of associated partying, isn’t there?).
But shouldn’t this be the time now that we get told how much public money has been committed to making it all happen over the next 20 months.
That way it’ll be easier for us to work out for ourselves afterwards whether it’s been worth it.
When Leeds City Council formally agreed (in October) to contribute to the costs of bringing the Tour to Yorkshire, the details of the ‘how much’ and ‘what for’ were kept secret.
Fair enough. As people pointed out at the time – including, I seem to recall, at the meeting of senior councillors that gave approval – when you’re in a sealed-bid auction you don’t go around telling rival bidders what your top price is.
But now that we know that we beat Florence and Edinburgh to the 2014 Grand Départ, is there any further need to keep secret what we, as a local council, have promised to contribute?
Not just our contribution to the bid for the rights to stage the race, but stuff like the roads (pot-hole filling, signage, closures, marshals, etc etc) and whatever other investment we’ve signed up to so the estimated £300m benefit (where do they get these figures from?) comes the region’s way.
When can we expect to see how much Leeds, North Yorkshire and York councils – the three who, on the face of it, are going to see most of the action – are paying? Will we have to wait till the 2013-14 budgets are announced?
Or will we never know?
(PS there’s a fantastic Tour de France related competition going on here. Can you afford to miss out?)