The manic joy is leaving me but I'm still madly excited that the Tour De France is coming to my town and twice in two days, wow. What about Legacy? I had a meeting last night with some local activists we talked a lot about legacy, after the Olympics I think we all get that idea now. There was a suggestion we argue for Cycle Town status like Bristol and others got over the last few years. It worked wonders for the towns were the money was invested. There were other ideas knocking around. I started thinking.
Recently I met with Joanne Armstrong and John Mcgivern at the Hydro. They both work for Harrogate Borough Council. Jo is a sport development officer, John is specifically looking at the legacy the tour can leave.
We talked about what a reasonable legacy from the Tour would be. Greater participation was something we all agreed on. Greater participation being difficult without better infrastructure was another point where our views aligned. John was realistic about legacy being hard to deliver but he also seems committed to making the Tour's visit more than a two day wonder. Jo is interested in anything that gets people riding bikes, she is working with employers, including (hooray) the hospital. So there seems to be some much needed progress, which is great news.
In the short term there is going to be a committee of interested local people who will look in more details about specific legacy aims. Its great to be part of this and I'm delighted to be asked. North Yorkshire County Council will be part of this group too,which is more good news as ultimately they have most of the money.
So a little over two weeks after the Tour announcement it seems like local government is rising to the challenge. It was also good to see Deputy Prime minster Nick Clegg agreeing to meet with Welcome to Yorkshire and the Cabinet to talk about central government funding for the Grand Depart. We remain hopeful that some money will be invested and that some of it will be spent on infrastructure. Exciting times.
A final thought if you have any specific ideas about what would be a good legacy for Harrogate get in touch, I can put your views forward.