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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 03:43 AM
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English town cuts links with French and German twins
An English town council has decided to end a 46-year twinning relationship with towns in France and Germany. Is it euroscepticism, or has the twinning of towns become anachronistic and irrelevant?

In September, the Conservative-dominated council of English market town Bishop's Stortford voted by 13 votes to 3 to wash its hands of Villiers-sur-Marne in France and Friedberg in Germany, its twin towns since 1965.

At the end of November, they wrote to inform their French and German twins that the relationship was over. Villiers-sur-Marne and Friedberg were taken by surprise.

According to Thursdays edition of left-leaning UK daily the Guardian, the vote appears to be the latest manifestation of grassroots euroscepticism that has taken hold in Conservative Britain.

http://www.france24.com/en/20111202-english-town-severs...

For some obscure reason Watford where I live is twinned with 5 towns : Mainz, Germany, Nanterre, France, Novgorod, Russia , Wilmington, Delaware and Pesaro, Italy. Not sure why we need five. I remember reading that Norwich had simply twinned itself with Norwich. :rofl:
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 04:16 AM
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1. Oxford also has five, as I just checked; and not all in the EU
Bonn, Grenoble, Leiden, Perm (Russia) and Leon (Nicaragua)
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 07:54 AM
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2. I hadn't realised that this subject goes back to the late.1940's
The town twinning movement started very soon after 1945, with the passionate support of mayors and citizens who vowed that Europe should never again be torn apart by war. Most of the twinnings were between towns from countries that had, till recently, been divided by war. The promotion of this new twinning movement was one of the main priorities of the Council of European Municipalities (as it then was) in 1951, and the 1950s saw a huge increase in the number and range of twinnings.

http://www.twinning.org/en/page/history.html

Quite cynically I'd thought towns were chosen by local councillors according to where they'd like to have swop visits.
I'd understand it more if the towns chosen were those in need : Chernobyl, Muzaffarabad / Kasmir, almost anywhere in Haiti etc. Its interesting to see you've got one in Nicaragua.

The latter three chosen by Watford were from when Labour held the council. They lost the council back in 2003 partly due to their persistant failed attempts to have Christmas de-Christianised : an issue which caused even the local Muslims to conclude they'd lost the plot. We've been Lib Dem ever since.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 10:37 AM
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3. I suspect that the twinning of Oxford and Leon is because they're both university towns
And yes, I think that twin towns tend to be chosen for pleasantness and convenience of mutual visits, rather than need. But the idea is a nice one in principle.

'They lost the council back in 2003 partly due to their persistant failed attempts to have Christmas de-Christianised'

Really? How did they do that? I realize you're in Watford and I'm not; but did you see this happen directly, or just hear campaigners about it? I ask because in many other places, such as Oxford where I do live, there have been religious-right and just-plain-right, allegations of 'wars on Christmas', which have turned out to be complete misrepresentations; e.g. in 2008 because the Oxfordshire charity 'Oxford Inspires' organized a 'Winter Lights Festival' (as an event, not replacing Christmas), a local paper put out a headline 'Council set to axe Christmas'. The Torygraph took it up as 'Christmas banned in Oxford by council-owned charity' and even the Observer reported that 'Christmas is axed in Oxford'. As Christmas in Oxford is a big thing, which tends to start in September, at least from the commercial point of view, this seemed bizarre. Anyway, here's what really happened:


http://www.oxfordinspires.org/news/Statement-on-WinterL...

Getting back to Oxford's twin towns, we are also twinned with Saskatoon in Canada.



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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-03-11 11:42 AM
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4. Hmm
Yes - interesting to read about the fairy tale which was spread regarding Oxford. Its a shame when matters are clarified that the nationals don't then re-report.

Here it was a subject which was hammered to death by the local rag who I'd never considered to have any particular affiliations. Such matters become discussion points amongst all and sundry. Having said that nothing that happens here could ever compete with some of the crackpot ideas that Labour came up with when took Brent - the infamous Tea Dance episode for example. :rofl:
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