PENARTH Town Council is set to ‘extend a mutual hand of friendship’ to villages in both France and Italy.

Following a breakdown in the long-standing town twinning relationship with St Pol de leon, Penarth Town Council is set to attempt to build relationships with both Moret-sur-Loing in Fontainbleu, France, and Sasso Marconi in Bologna, Italy.

Councillor Philip Rapier, who represents the St Augustine's ward, recommended that the town council send out letters to both villages during a town twinning committee meeting on Wednesday, July 2.

Councillor Clive Williams, who represents the Plymouth ward, said it would be a shame to let the relationship with St Pol de Leon come to an end as they had enjoyed a 30 year partnership, about eight people from Penarth had bought properties there, and there were several street names in Penarth named after parts of St Pol de Leon.

“I’m not against this but really feel if we were going to put effort into this we should look again at St Pol de Leon,” he said.

But Councillor Janice Birch, who was chairing the committee, said that the people that had helped form the relationship with St Pol-de-leon were either no longer alive or too old to travel to Penarth. She added that communicating with the local council had also ceased.

Councillor Philip Rapier, during his application for Moret-sur-Loing to be considered, said that Penarth had strong links with the landscape artist Alfred Sisley who was “probably the first professional artist to paint Penarth Pier.”

He added that similarities between Moret-sur-Loing and Penarth included both of them being picturesque towns and having a strong sense of civic pride.

He added that in regards to Sasso Marconi and Penarth they both had a “painting tradition”, and that this was reinforced by the number of popular exhibitions at the Penarth Pier Pavilion.

He added that the Marconi family also had strong links with the likes of Flatholm and Penarth due to the first radio broadcast being made between them.

The committee agreed to send letters to both Moret-sur-Loing and Sasso Marconi, while Councillor Janice Birch’s recommendation that they should write a letter to St Pol de Leon thanking them for their long standing town twinning relationship was also agreed.