Whitchurch Town Twinning Committee warns visits close to ending

Reporter:

Barrie White

The COMMITTEE which organises town twinning trips with Neufchâtel in France has expressed its disappointment over a lack of dialogue with the town council.

At a special meeting of the town twinning committee to discuss a trip to France next month, it was announced that secretary Val Webb had written to the council asking it to clarify its level of commitment to the twinning.

According to the twinning committee, the council has not appointed a new representative to the committee and members felt if the council no longer wanted to be involved, it had a responsibility to inform Neufchâtel the arrangement would come to an end.

In its official report of the meeting, held at Dodington Lodge last week, the committee also feared embarrassment if there was not an official gift to exchange during the trip.

Members heard treassurer Russ Symons had written to the council regarding what the committee felt was a reduction in the grant received to assist in entertaining the French on behalf of the town on the occasion of the next visit in 2018.

Mr Symons told the meeting: “The association works hard on behalf of the council to facilitate the twinning and promote Whitchurch abroad, but the council has generally been nonchalant in any support.

“It was felt the council should decide whether it wants the twinning to continue or not.

“It is, after all, the councils – not the twinning committees – which are twinned.

“If it is unwilling to give the necessary support, then next year’s visit by the French will be the last and the council will have to write to Neufchâtel to explain why it wishes to end the arrangement after 43 years of international friendship and good relations.

“The twinning committee itself is committed to continuing the link, but cannot do so without council support.”

However, town clerk Nicola Young believes the two groups can work more closely together and says the council has been in touch to discuss issues.

She said: “We have been in contact with members of the Town Twinning Committee and are aware of the issues they have raised. I look forward to working with them going forward.”

n Membership enquiries should go to Mrs Webb on 01948 663948.

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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