Twinning with St Pol de Leon 'not forgotten' - Penarth council

PENARTH Town Council has assured concerned local residents that the town’s twinning agreement with French town St Pol de Leon has not been forgotten.

It had been suggested that the council had chosen to discontinue efforts to maintain contact with the town in Brittany, following a deterioration of link arrangements between the two in recent years.

But members of Penarth council have spoken out to quash such claims.

A spokesman for the town council said: “There is no longer an active twinning association in St Pol de Leon, which is the organisation we have always worked with in relation to twinning arrangements.

”However we have written to the mayor of St Pol de Leon to ask if he can confirm that there is no longer an association and if that is so, whether we can maintain the civic link through the use of technology, via e-mails, conference calls, Skype etc, with the town hall in St Pol instead.

“We are awaiting a response.”

Cllr Janice Birch, chairman of the town twinning committee for Penarth Town Council, said there may be an opportunity for local residents to become involved in maintaining links between the two towns.

“I would like the agreement to continue but it would be far better if townspeople themselves took over the twinning,” she said.

“Being based on a town council whose members come and go, it hasn’t the durability of a complete committee formed of personally interested people.

“Unfortunately the breakdown of exchanges between local schools saw the bond deteriorate considerably.”

Following a meeting of the town twinning committee on January 9, there was also talk that the twinning budget of £1,800 had been re-designated, to be used for other purposes.

The council spokesman added: “The twinning budget was always split between school exhanges and official visits, neither of which have taken place in recent years.

“It has been suggested that the budgets be amalgamated to form a budget called twinning activities, to cover any form of twinning eventuality.

“The town council is reviewing its twinning activities as part of its overall best value review.”

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