World Cup Cyclo-cross blunder: Suspended organiser quits council

Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council

A council employee who allegedly blew the budget for the city’s World Cup Cyclo-Cross event has quit his job.

Cycling development officer Richard Duffill had been suspended for alleged mis-management of the November event, which saddled the council with an overspend of more than £200,000.

This week, the council admitted he no longer works there, but will not say whether he resigned or was forced to leave.

Ironically, news of his leaving comes the week the Citizen learned Cyclo-Cross will not be returning to the city this year.

The council blames the extra workload brought on by the Rugby World Cup around the same time.

It is understood the 2014 Cyclo-Cross hit a last-minute hitch because vital arrangements had not been made and tickets were not properly advertised.

Less than three weeks before the event was due to start, a background review revealed “potential serious flaws and failings in the management”.

As a result the council was forced to set up an urgent project board to salvage the race, which was the first round of the UCI world championships.

This week a council report stated: “The event was subsequently successful, but at significant unanticipated resource and cost implications as a result of both governance and misconduct issues.”

The event was tipped to attract 20,000 people. Instead 12,000 turned up.

An audit into the failings is being concluded and a report is being prepared to go before the council’s audit committee in September.