Anger at Knavesmire damage following Gunpowder Plod event

The rutted grass on Knavesmire, which was the site of last month’s Gunpowder Plod

The rutted grass on Knavesmire, which was the site of last month’s Gunpowder Plod

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

THE mess left behind on York’s Knavesmire after last month’s controversial Gunpowder Plod event has been blasted by a councillor.

Local Green Party leader Andy D’Agorne claimed the fireworks and race event itself on November 5 had been badly organised, but it had also left a messy and dangerous legacy in the area.

He said cranes which were used to remove temporary fencing had churned up the soft ground and made big holes in the Sustrans cycle track, close to the scene of a fatal accident several years ago involving York teenager Ruby Milnes.

Coun D’Agorne said emergency repairs had been carried out by City of York Council to fill the dangerous holes in the cycle track, but some of the rutted grass still remained.

He said he would now be pressing the authority to make sure the organisers of the event paid for the repair and restoration of the damage, after the parks dept budget had been used for the cycle track emergency repair work. He said he had put down a question about this to a Labour cabinet member at a council meeting to be held later this week.

He said: “Labour was so keen to fulfil their election pledge of a fireworks display they agreed to the Gunpowder Plod event organised by Rat Race being held on the Knavesmire with no rental charge.

“It seems unbelievable, but cranes were being manoeuvred in the dark on a cycle track in the very place where Ruby Milnes was killed by a lorry when cycling home from college three years ago.

“I have asked the council to investigate safety procedures for these events, but also to ensure the organisers pay for repairing the damage to the land at the appropriate time of year.”

Coun Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “I can confirm that all costs will be met by the organisers, Rat Race. Given the weather since early November, the council will start the reinstatement work at an appropriate time to ensure that the land is returned to its previous high quality.”

Rat Race was unavailable for comment.

Comments (30)

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10:05am Tue 11 Dec 12

bolero says...

Bets on `Rat Race` declaring bankrupcy?
Bets on `Rat Race` declaring bankrupcy? bolero
  • Score: 0

10:07am Tue 11 Dec 12

pedalling paul says...

Couldn't help noticing last autumn, that the fairground and adjacent beer festival nearer the Mount Vale junction, also left a similar legacy.
Couldn't help noticing last autumn, that the fairground and adjacent beer festival nearer the Mount Vale junction, also left a similar legacy. pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

10:17am Tue 11 Dec 12

dsom73 says...

bolero wrote:
Bets on `Rat Race` declaring bankrupcy?
...then starting up again under a new name with the same directors....well, if the wheel can get away with it, why not eh?

Why not...
[quote][p][bold]bolero[/bold] wrote: Bets on `Rat Race` declaring bankrupcy?[/p][/quote]...then starting up again under a new name with the same directors....well, if the wheel can get away with it, why not eh? Why not... dsom73
  • Score: 0

10:17am Tue 11 Dec 12

BKKYorkshireboy says...

Doubt the will go bankrupt they refused to offer me any refund despite my complaint letters. A half price entry to their next event is all they will offer. Did anyone else have any joy with complaining and getting money back?
Doubt the will go bankrupt they refused to offer me any refund despite my complaint letters. A half price entry to their next event is all they will offer. Did anyone else have any joy with complaining and getting money back? BKKYorkshireboy
  • Score: 0

10:30am Tue 11 Dec 12

again says...

BKKYorkshireboy wrote:
Doubt the will go bankrupt they refused to offer me any refund despite my complaint letters. A half price entry to their next event is all they will offer. Did anyone else have any joy with complaining and getting money back?
I expect Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin are having a laugh.
[quote][p][bold]BKKYorkshireboy[/bold] wrote: Doubt the will go bankrupt they refused to offer me any refund despite my complaint letters. A half price entry to their next event is all they will offer. Did anyone else have any joy with complaining and getting money back?[/p][/quote]I expect Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin are having a laugh. again
  • Score: 0

10:45am Tue 11 Dec 12

M.Lucas says...

This is just the kind of party political attempted point scoring that drives me up the wall...

Cllr D'Agorne could have quite easily checked to see with the appropriate department whether the work was scheduled to be done. He could have asked Cllr Crisp whether Rat Race were going to pay for the work and she would have given him the answer.

That is what the job of a councillor should be, not running to the press making a fuss only for them to get a statement for the last paragraph to showing it's being.

IF the work doesn't get done or IF Rat Race don't pay for it, then go to the press and inform us.

So sick and tired of cllrs from ALL parties making a fuss through the media rather than getting on with the job.
This is just the kind of party political attempted point scoring that drives me up the wall... Cllr D'Agorne could have quite easily checked to see with the appropriate department whether the work was scheduled to be done. He could have asked Cllr Crisp whether Rat Race were going to pay for the work and she would have given him the answer. That is what the job of a councillor should be, not running to the press making a fuss only for them to get a statement for the last paragraph to showing it's being. IF the work doesn't get done or IF Rat Race don't pay for it, then go to the press and inform us. So sick and tired of cllrs from ALL parties making a fuss through the media rather than getting on with the job. M.Lucas
  • Score: 0

11:59am Tue 11 Dec 12

Open for business says...

Interesting to see you believe Cllr Crisp is telling the truth. I suppose there is a first time for everything!
Interesting to see you believe Cllr Crisp is telling the truth. I suppose there is a first time for everything! Open for business
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Tue 11 Dec 12

M.Lucas says...

Open for business wrote:
Interesting to see you believe Cllr Crisp is telling the truth. I suppose there is a first time for everything!
Pretty sure that I said IF the work doesn't get done or IF Rat Race don't pay then it becomes an actual story...

Please don't bring me into your personal attacks on a Councillor.

I find it very unlikely that a Cllr would be quite so explicit if there is no truth in the statement.
[quote][p][bold]Open for business[/bold] wrote: Interesting to see you believe Cllr Crisp is telling the truth. I suppose there is a first time for everything![/p][/quote]Pretty sure that I said IF the work doesn't get done or IF Rat Race don't pay then it becomes an actual story... Please don't bring me into your personal attacks on a Councillor. I find it very unlikely that a Cllr would be quite so explicit if there is no truth in the statement. M.Lucas
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Setting it straight says...

Has the councillor or anybody else actually looked at the photograph?????? How on earth can anybody be expected to re-instate ground in that state; it's underwater for goodness sake!! Surely the responsibility for making good will fall to whoever made the mess, perhaps Cllr Crisp should've asked that question by now??? Or is it too simple to expect those responsible to sort it out? As for the equipment running over the cycle tracks etc, in the dark, well that's basic schoolboy site safety neglegence. I'm sure their Risk Assessments and Method Statements submitted would have covered all this, who was responsible on site for making sure all these measures were implemented because they are as much to blame
Has the councillor or anybody else actually looked at the photograph?????? How on earth can anybody be expected to re-instate ground in that state; it's underwater for goodness sake!! Surely the responsibility for making good will fall to whoever made the mess, perhaps Cllr Crisp should've asked that question by now??? Or is it too simple to expect those responsible to sort it out? As for the equipment running over the cycle tracks etc, in the dark, well that's basic schoolboy site safety neglegence. I'm sure their Risk Assessments and Method Statements submitted would have covered all this, who was responsible on site for making sure all these measures were implemented because they are as much to blame Setting it straight
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jackanory2 says...

Funny how they have decided to pick on this event, although from comments it did sound shoddy. We use the pitches near this end of the Knavesmire and doesn't matter who is holding an event the place is left in this condition, oh and why do they have to drive straight across the pitches leaving tracks and divets everywhere.
Funny how they have decided to pick on this event, although from comments it did sound shoddy. We use the pitches near this end of the Knavesmire and doesn't matter who is holding an event the place is left in this condition, oh and why do they have to drive straight across the pitches leaving tracks and divets everywhere. Jackanory2
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jazzper says...

Usual useless observations from our Green Eyed cllr. this is winter if you hadn't noticed, not much point in doing any ground works till spring time...when I'm sure this will soon be sorted out.
Usual useless observations from our Green Eyed cllr. this is winter if you hadn't noticed, not much point in doing any ground works till spring time...when I'm sure this will soon be sorted out. Jazzper
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Tue 11 Dec 12

xtc says...

Make em pay for a couple of tippers of soil and grass seed and don't let amateurs without a clue stage events.!
Make em pay for a couple of tippers of soil and grass seed and don't let amateurs without a clue stage events.! xtc
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Gyspsy Power says...

Wasn't it this very newspaper that was saying what a fantastic event this was only a month ago???
Wasn't it this very newspaper that was saying what a fantastic event this was only a month ago??? Gyspsy Power
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Hollywood Star says...

It was a mess before this event from other events held on there fair, races etc aswell as the previous floods
It was a mess before this event from other events held on there fair, races etc aswell as the previous floods Hollywood Star
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Tue 11 Dec 12

myselby says...

its soft grass, this happens all the time, it will be as good as new soon, i take it cars parked for the race meetings never cut up the grass when wet !
its soft grass, this happens all the time, it will be as good as new soon, i take it cars parked for the race meetings never cut up the grass when wet ! myselby
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jiminy Cricket says...

Setting it straight wrote:
Has the councillor or anybody else actually looked at the photograph?????? How on earth can anybody be expected to re-instate ground in that state; it's underwater for goodness sake!! Surely the responsibility for making good will fall to whoever made the mess, perhaps Cllr Crisp should've asked that question by now??? Or is it too simple to expect those responsible to sort it out? As for the equipment running over the cycle tracks etc, in the dark, well that's basic schoolboy site safety neglegence. I'm sure their Risk Assessments and Method Statements submitted would have covered all this, who was responsible on site for making sure all these measures were implemented because they are as much to blame
You make an interesting point about Risk Assessments and Method Statements.

I would like to know if the council's event officers, licensing officers and the members of the council run Safety Advisory Group actually viewed the risk assessments for this event?

If so, how come the police had to get involved on the night to remove people from the Knavesmire because the public were in danger of getting blown up by fireworks that had been laid out and left unprotected by fencing and security staff?

Also, how come cars were allowed to park and do three point turns in unlit areas where thousands of people were exiting through the main gate?

These are just two examples of serious failings that could have had fatal consequences.

The organisation of this event was woefully poor (they couldn't even organise the race properly and that's what Rat Race supposedly do day in, day out) but as I understand it council officers were meant to check everything was safe beforehand. Epic fail.

Who keeps a check on the people who are supposed to be doing the checking?

Can't the press do one of those freedom of information requests and get this all out in the open?
[quote][p][bold]Setting it straight[/bold] wrote: Has the councillor or anybody else actually looked at the photograph?????? How on earth can anybody be expected to re-instate ground in that state; it's underwater for goodness sake!! Surely the responsibility for making good will fall to whoever made the mess, perhaps Cllr Crisp should've asked that question by now??? Or is it too simple to expect those responsible to sort it out? As for the equipment running over the cycle tracks etc, in the dark, well that's basic schoolboy site safety neglegence. I'm sure their Risk Assessments and Method Statements submitted would have covered all this, who was responsible on site for making sure all these measures were implemented because they are as much to blame[/p][/quote]You make an interesting point about Risk Assessments and Method Statements. I would like to know if the council's event officers, licensing officers and the members of the council run Safety Advisory Group actually viewed the risk assessments for this event? If so, how come the police had to get involved on the night to remove people from the Knavesmire because the public were in danger of getting blown up by fireworks that had been laid out and left unprotected by fencing and security staff? Also, how come cars were allowed to park and do three point turns in unlit areas where thousands of people were exiting through the main gate? These are just two examples of serious failings that could have had fatal consequences. The organisation of this event was woefully poor (they couldn't even organise the race properly and that's what Rat Race supposedly do day in, day out) but as I understand it council officers were meant to check everything was safe beforehand. Epic fail. Who keeps a check on the people who are supposed to be doing the checking? Can't the press do one of those freedom of information requests and get this all out in the open? Jiminy Cricket
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jiminy Cricket says...

Gyspsy Power wrote:
Wasn't it this very newspaper that was saying what a fantastic event this was only a month ago???
LOL!
[quote][p][bold]Gyspsy Power[/bold] wrote: Wasn't it this very newspaper that was saying what a fantastic event this was only a month ago???[/p][/quote]LOL! Jiminy Cricket
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jiminy Cricket says...

"Rat Race was unavailable for comment."

Funny that, they had plenty to say beforehand - mainly BS about how great the event and the fireworks were going to be.

It'll be interesting to see if they have the audacity to try and rip people off with the plod mkII in 2013. Judging by the arrogance of Jim (it's all about) Mee in that so called apology video it wouldn't surprise me if they come back next year like nothing's wrong and no doubt Councillor Crisp will be crowing about how marvellous they are again.
"Rat Race was unavailable for comment." Funny that, they had plenty to say beforehand - mainly BS about how great the event and the fireworks were going to be. It'll be interesting to see if they have the audacity to try and rip people off with the plod mkII in 2013. Judging by the arrogance of Jim (it's all about) Mee in that so called apology video it wouldn't surprise me if they come back next year like nothing's wrong and no doubt Councillor Crisp will be crowing about how marvellous they are again. Jiminy Cricket
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Tue 11 Dec 12

chunks says...

I'm pleased that some attention has been brought to this issue as it really is an absolute eyesore.

I'm amazed that the organisers haven't already resolved the problem - although perhaps they're already too busy dealing with all the complaint letters!
I'm pleased that some attention has been brought to this issue as it really is an absolute eyesore. I'm amazed that the organisers haven't already resolved the problem - although perhaps they're already too busy dealing with all the complaint letters! chunks
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Turpinette says...

If things haven't changed in the last few years, they will have had to pay a five figure bond against causing damage to the ground before the event took place - I wonder how much, if any, they got back?
If things haven't changed in the last few years, they will have had to pay a five figure bond against causing damage to the ground before the event took place - I wonder how much, if any, they got back? Turpinette
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Tue 11 Dec 12

typhoon75 says...

Never mind all the crap about how messed up the grass is, WHY is the press using that poor girls name who tragically died there a few years ago. Haven't the girls parents been through enough without having to see her name dragged through a so called news report just to beef it up a bit !!!!!!!!!!!!
Even if all the damage is close to the scene there is no need to report it as it has no bearing on the damage instead all the press is doing is raking up bad memories for her family.
Never mind all the crap about how messed up the grass is, WHY is the press using that poor girls name who tragically died there a few years ago. Haven't the girls parents been through enough without having to see her name dragged through a so called news report just to beef it up a bit !!!!!!!!!!!! Even if all the damage is close to the scene there is no need to report it as it has no bearing on the damage instead all the press is doing is raking up bad memories for her family. typhoon75
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Tue 11 Dec 12

again says...

chunks wrote:
I'm pleased that some attention has been brought to this issue as it really is an absolute eyesore.

I'm amazed that the organisers haven't already resolved the problem - although perhaps they're already too busy dealing with all the complaint letters!
Me too. It's interesting how many commenters here just make political capitial out of this or simply haven't seen the damage but feel they have to say something even if it is complete baloney.

As regards the unfortunate cyclist, I would say it is relevant because for a time the cycle track was made dangerous through slippery mud on the downhill stretch. Also a large very hazardous pothole was made in it by the heavy vehicles that made the huge ruts in the grass. That has now been filled in.
[quote][p][bold]chunks[/bold] wrote: I'm pleased that some attention has been brought to this issue as it really is an absolute eyesore. I'm amazed that the organisers haven't already resolved the problem - although perhaps they're already too busy dealing with all the complaint letters![/p][/quote]Me too. It's interesting how many commenters here just make political capitial out of this or simply haven't seen the damage but feel they have to say something even if it is complete baloney. As regards the unfortunate cyclist, I would say it is relevant because for a time the cycle track was made dangerous through slippery mud on the downhill stretch. Also a large very hazardous pothole was made in it by the heavy vehicles that made the huge ruts in the grass. That has now been filled in. again
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Tue 11 Dec 12

bob the builder says...

bolero wrote:
Bets on `Rat Race` declaring bankrupcy?
Are the odds on 'declaring' or 'declared'?
[quote][p][bold]bolero[/bold] wrote: Bets on `Rat Race` declaring bankrupcy?[/p][/quote]Are the odds on 'declaring' or 'declared'? bob the builder
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Tue 11 Dec 12

bob the builder says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Couldn't help noticing last autumn, that the fairground and adjacent beer festival nearer the Mount Vale junction, also left a similar legacy.
Given that the land is susceptible to flooding and therefore damage to the surfaces, any sensible landlord would insist on a deposit or evidence of appropriate insurance cover to cover reparation. However it's the council who only think about short term revenue, and hope the consequences befall the next administration (knowing full well it won't be them).
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Couldn't help noticing last autumn, that the fairground and adjacent beer festival nearer the Mount Vale junction, also left a similar legacy.[/p][/quote]Given that the land is susceptible to flooding and therefore damage to the surfaces, any sensible landlord would insist on a deposit or evidence of appropriate insurance cover to cover reparation. However it's the council who only think about short term revenue, and hope the consequences befall the next administration (knowing full well it won't be them). bob the builder
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Tue 11 Dec 12

ceebeelee says...

BKKYorkshireboy wrote:
Doubt the will go bankrupt they refused to offer me any refund despite my complaint letters. A half price entry to their next event is all they will offer. Did anyone else have any joy with complaining and getting money back?
Nope, just got an email denying responsibility that they had done anything wrong. No refund at all. It still upsets me to think what my 3 year old daughter went through that evening and didn't even get to see the fireworks. They have no conscience at all, it's disgusting.
[quote][p][bold]BKKYorkshireboy[/bold] wrote: Doubt the will go bankrupt they refused to offer me any refund despite my complaint letters. A half price entry to their next event is all they will offer. Did anyone else have any joy with complaining and getting money back?[/p][/quote]Nope, just got an email denying responsibility that they had done anything wrong. No refund at all. It still upsets me to think what my 3 year old daughter went through that evening and didn't even get to see the fireworks. They have no conscience at all, it's disgusting. ceebeelee
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Annie71 says...

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the muddy mess on the knavesmire was caused by the fairground and the very heavy rain we had!! That means it was like it before the farce we had on November 5th!!!! Bring back Clifford's tower! :)))
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the muddy mess on the knavesmire was caused by the fairground and the very heavy rain we had!! That means it was like it before the farce we had on November 5th!!!! Bring back Clifford's tower! :))) Annie71
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Jiminy Cricket says...

Annie71 wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the muddy mess on the knavesmire was caused by the fairground and the very heavy rain we had!! That means it was like it before the farce we had on November 5th!!!! Bring back Clifford's tower! :)))
Yep, you're wrong! The damage being discussed here is on Bustardthorpe rather than the Knavesmire and it was all down to rip off rat race
[quote][p][bold]Annie71[/bold] wrote: Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the muddy mess on the knavesmire was caused by the fairground and the very heavy rain we had!! That means it was like it before the farce we had on November 5th!!!! Bring back Clifford's tower! :)))[/p][/quote]Yep, you're wrong! The damage being discussed here is on Bustardthorpe rather than the Knavesmire and it was all down to rip off rat race Jiminy Cricket
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Wed 12 Dec 12

lezyork1966 says...

I'm still banned on the minster fm facebook page for asking questions about its dj's involvement with the elf fiasco the other year....
I'm still banned on the minster fm facebook page for asking questions about its dj's involvement with the elf fiasco the other year.... lezyork1966
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Wed 12 Dec 12

kemper says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Couldn't help noticing last autumn, that the fairground and adjacent beer festival nearer the Mount Vale junction, also left a similar legacy.
at least the showmen pay rent and a deposit for ground damage unlike others?

the racecourse was flooded on purpose that night with no notification to the showmen
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Couldn't help noticing last autumn, that the fairground and adjacent beer festival nearer the Mount Vale junction, also left a similar legacy.[/p][/quote]at least the showmen pay rent and a deposit for ground damage unlike others? the racecourse was flooded on purpose that night with no notification to the showmen kemper
  • Score: 0

3:24am Fri 14 Dec 12

Magicman! says...

The knavesmire soil is soft... and due to the Americans playing god with the atmosphere, we've had the wettest summer in almost a hundred years. What happens to soft soil when it gets wet? it goes spongy... tey even stepping onto that ground and you'll leave a lasting footprint, nevermind driving twenty tonne cranes over it. And driving such large vehicles in the dark on an unlit cycle path is moronic.
The knavesmire soil is soft... and due to the Americans playing god with the atmosphere, we've had the wettest summer in almost a hundred years. What happens to soft soil when it gets wet? it goes spongy... tey even stepping onto that ground and you'll leave a lasting footprint, nevermind driving twenty tonne cranes over it. And driving such large vehicles in the dark on an unlit cycle path is moronic. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

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