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Scarborough Council: Welcome to Yorkshire Valuable

Scarborough Council: Welcome to Yorkshire Valuable

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 1:24pm 28th October 2019.

A review by Scarborough Council into its relationship with Welcome to Yorkshire has found it does represent value to the authority.

The borough council’s director Richard Bradley announced the findings of the audit review into whether the council got “value for money” from its ties with the embattled tourism body last week.

The review was ordered earlier this year when allegations about expenses and the conduct of the previous Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity first came to light.

Mr Bradley told the council’s Audit Committee on Thursday:

“Our audit team has carried out a review into expenses and officers and members relationships with Welcome to Yorkshire.

The review was carried out by [the council’s] previous audit manager who was satisfied that the council’s processes and procedures were being followed with regard to Welcome to Yorkshire to that effect.”

When questioned by committee chairman Cllr Sam Cross (Ind) on whether the review found the relationship was “value for money” for the council, Mr Bradley added:

“That formed part of the review as we pay a sum out to Welcome to Yorkshire, but we, quite uniquely, receive income back from Welcome to Yorkshire.”

Mr Bradley told Cllr Cross there was no written report but he would see if something could be put in writing for the committee.

Scarborough Council operates in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire on tourism activities and promotion across the borough. Welcome to Yorkshire pays the council, 2017 figures show, around £60,000, which covers the cost of staffing and support.

The borough council makes an annual payment to Welcome to Yorkshire as a membership fee, approximately £20,000, and also permits its tourism manager to act as a Welcome to Yorkshire area director.

The tourism body’s future was secured earlier this month when council leaders in West and North Yorkshire, including Scarborough Council leader Steve Siddons, agreed to provide up to £1m extra funding from its business rates pool.

The funding was given on the condition that Welcome to Yorkshire’s interim chairman Keith Stewart was replaced by Wakefield Council leader Peter Box.

Speaking after the meeting on October 7, Cllr Siddons said:

“The Yorkshire brand needs a marketing organisation that has the confidence of both public and tourism industry sponsors.

Since the launch of investigations into the company, there’s been far too little change. 

Welcome to Yorkshire’s governance, accountability and transparency are still perceived as being inadequate. 

I told the meeting that Welcome to Yorkshire needs a new board, a new CEO and senior team urgently to regain the confidence of all those involved in and dependent on the Yorkshire tourism industry. 

The new board can then have the chance to quickly get the Yorkshire brand back on track, with sweeping changes.”


There are 3 comments on this page.

Fileyman, on 28th October 2019 1:28pm
Clearly nobody has read the latest reports on the financial standing of Welcome To Yorkshire.

Or is it just a case of SBC giving away ratepayers cash to anybody who asks no matter what the risk
zara, on 28th October 2019 3:09pm
Seriously what is it about Scarborough Council officers/councillors?! They do a review and then say no written report was done?? Does anyone believe that and if it is true then why not. I was a civil servant for many a year and no way is a review done that does not have some kind of written report. No point in doing one otherwise. All we have is the spokespersons word about what the review found..... Do they think everyone living in Scarborough Council area is that thick?? OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY.
Chippy33, on 28th October 2019 10:12pm
The fact that SBC’s Tourism Manager is a Director of W2Y speaks volumes !

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