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Anger at Knavesmire damage following Gunpowder Plod event
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.