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Government delivers backhanded swipe at race organisers
THE SPORTS Minister has delivered a backhanded swipe at the organisers of the Tour de France over funding for policing the race.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Yorkshire MP Jason McCartney asked the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Hugh Robertson how he envisaged the cost of security and policing for the event being met.
Speaking before parliament, the Colne Valley MP said: “I very much welcome the £10m of Government funding towards the costs of the Tour de France coming through my constituency and the rest of Yorkshire.
“One big concern, however, is the security and policing costs. How does the Minister see those being met?”
Mr Robertson told him the money would have to be raised by Yorkshire and said it would be “pretty extraordinary” to have not factored this into a bid.
He replied: “When we drew up the budget that Sir Rodney Walker now oversees, it was clear that the local security costs were to be met from the £11 million that will be raised by Yorkshire, not the £10 million raised by the Government.
“I just say to my honourable Friend, as a gentle point of reference, that if there is controversy about this matter now—I do not know whether there is in Yorkshire—it is pretty extraordinary to have bid for an event without working out how the security is to be paid for.”
North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has called on the organisers of the Tour de France to help pay for policing Yorkshire’s Grand Depart.
She claimed “lack of clarity” over policing costs has put the county’s force in a difficult position.
She said the largest financial burden in policing the event would fall to North Yorkshire Police, as 60 per cent of the route passed through the county.
Welcome to Yorkshire did not respond to requests by The Northern Echo for a comment.
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