Parliamentary approval has been granted for the road cycling world championships to be held on Harrogate’s public parkland despite criticism of the local authority over the consultation process.
The House of Commons Regulatory Reform Committee approved a draft order to allow the UCI World Championships to be hosted on the Stray, but were critical of Harrogate Borough Council over the timing of the consultation on the proposals - coming long after Harrogate has been announced as the main venue for the Championships.
The Committee found that there was widespread, but not universal, local support for the event and the potential benefits it would bring to the town. In supporting the proposals to allow the event to proceed, the Committee highlighted the importance of ensuring that the Stray was returned to its prior condition, and that access was retained as much as possible.
Chair of the Regulatory Reform Committee, Stephen McPartland MP, said:
"The return of the UCI Road World Championships to the UK for the first time since 1982 is welcome and will cement the reputation of the country and of Yorkshire as a global cycling destination. I am pleased that the Committee has been able to recommend to Government that the draft Order to enable Harrogate to host the event should be made.
However, it is regrettable that Harrogate Borough Council left it so late before seeking a consultation and legislation on this issue, long after preparations had already begun. It is only the widespread public support and a track record from previous events that meant the Committee could accept this consultation as meeting the basic standards required."
In approving the draft Harrogate Stray Act 1985 (UCI Road World Championships) Order 2019, the Committee were concerned about Harrogate Borough Council’s methods of securing Parliamentary approval for the event. The Council’s repeated use of Localism Orders rather than seeking to permanently change the law was criticised, with any future events currently unlikely to be approved using this procedure.
Following the Committee’s report, it is now for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to decide whether to make the draft Order that would allow the event to be held.
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