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Twinning in general

As far as we know there are no plans for CD Twinning. However there has been some mention of it in various postings - so here is somewhere to put your views.

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Twinning in general

Postby johnp on 15 Aug 2006, 21:12

Image
I did a quick search on Google for "town twinning". The first page of results (10 in all) had one entry from the EU itself extolling the virtues of twinning. Click the link for further EU info. http://ec.europa.eu/towntwinning/index_en.html From this link it does appear as though you can get an EU grant for twinning.

Of the other 9 only 1 was not from a council. Moving swiftly on to the next few pages of results shows a startling number of entries apparantly sponsored by the local council. Perhaps Andrew is correct in his beliefs that twinning is, in many cases, jollies for the select few at the expense of the many.

I suggest that you make a note to do as Socrates suggests, Turners Hill Twinning folks will be at the village fayre on 2nd September, go along and find out who funds the trips.

Hope you like the EU flag, I "borrowed" it from one of the twinning sites I found. I regard it as public property as it was on a coulcil sponsored site
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Town twinning

Postby andrew on 15 Aug 2006, 22:02

Thanks for all the research johnp, and I am very envious of your flag, even if it was 'stolen' from one of those 'coulcil ' sponsored sites.
You are a brave man to make those facts more generally known, as when I wrote in the Courier that town twinning appeared to be no more than a jamboree for councillors, I was almost 'run out of town by indignant protests and demands for an apology from same, and have hardly dared mention it since. This I might say was actually before EG was twinned with no less than 5 other foreign places. I think of it frequently though as I dutifully lug my black sacks down to the roadside, and even more often when , having missed the ever changing collection dates, have to do a six mile return trip to Imberhorne Lane !! Does anyone else dare voice an opinion, before getting the truth from Turners Hill at the Village Fayre
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Postby johnp on 16 Aug 2006, 09:10

Thanks for your kind words Andrew.

My "research" can in no way be described as statistically sound (although I find myself asking about the statistical soundness of government statistics!) as this only showed information on Google where the search "town twinning" was used.

For all we know, there may be hundreds if not thousands of twinning associations which have no particular council backing and also have seen no good reason to have a web-site.

Of those whose details come up I suspect that it would be interesting to see the mix of people who go on these trips. How many councillors, shopkeepers, businessmen and ordinary public. What is the breakdown in andrew's favourite "bête noire" of East Grinstead?

Would the EG papers have such information and if they do would they share it with us? Is there someone on this forum who could dig out this information from either the Observer or the Courier?

On this subject I make no accusations, I am asking questions.

As far as the flag is concerned, I resent the suggestion that it was stolen, it is borrowed.
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town twinning

Postby andrew on 16 Aug 2006, 10:39

I too am asking questions about the funding behind town twinning exercises, and have been so doing off and on for the last few years. Apart from abuse I have had little response. I would be overjoyed if someone could tell me categorically that not one single penny of our Council Tax payments is being used for what I regard as idealistic nonsense. ----- particularly when, as in EG, it is multiplied by five !
May "the winds blow gentle" on your borrowed flag johnp
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Postby johnp on 16 Aug 2006, 11:13

Back in the late 60's when I was living and working in Wimborne, Dorset a twinning association was set up with a town in Normandy - Valognes. For me it was unfortunate that I ran the only travel agency in Wimborne and was forever being asked if I could let members of the twinning committee have discounted tickets to travel to Cherbourg/Le Havre so that they could go on their visits. As it happened, I never let any of them have discounts and also I never went to Valognes.

The make up of the "committee" was local businessmen - no women - such as the butcher, furniture shop etc. Predominantly it was the local chamber of trade. I cannot remember if any councillors had a hand in it although I know that when the Valognians came to Wimborne the mayor or whatever it was in charge of the council would always turn out wearing his chains of office. Ditto the chairman of the Chamber of Trade.

The twinning still goes on and you can see their website at http://www.facoho.freeserve.co.uk/wvta/index.htm.

They claim (and I have no reason to suppose otherwise) to be
The Wimborne-Valognes Twinning Association is a community-run organisation, independent of local government, encouraging family, sporting and cultural friendships across the Channel
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Town Twinning

Postby Socrates on 16 Aug 2006, 14:32

I spoke today to a member of the committee of Turners Hill Twinning Association and the individual was adamant that they did not receive any funding at all. Monies are raised, in Turners Hill case, by applying a £10 per annum membership subscription.

I think that it would be true to say that it was originally an elitist organisation. The instigators of the T.H.T.A. were the astonishingly rich (much like you Andrew :lol: ) and membership to the association was offered to individuals of similar means. It is certain that the council house tenants of Turners Hill were not approached and invited to join.

But times change. Now with a dwindling membership they are keen to get anyone’s £10 note.So it is not necessarily an association for Councillors or the like, but more for anyone who considers Twinning is a good thing to do.

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Postby johnp on 16 Aug 2006, 14:44

I think it can be said of many twinning organisations that they started out as elitist as Socrates suggests. The Wimborne one certainly did. Wimborne however now charge £8 for a family which certainly suggests that numbers have dwindled.

As a thought, when the local dignitaries turn up at a twinning event, even when the twinning organisation is indendent of the council, do they claim expenses? :?
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twinning jollifications

Postby andrew on 16 Aug 2006, 14:53

I trust you mean that I'm only intellectually rich Socrates ! Interesting though to hear that the THTA could once upon a time could actually get £10 out of people for such a cause, but perhaps now are in difficulties. Is the idealism wearing off do you think, or are the onetime rich now paupers after 10 years of Gordon Brown. The latter I guess.
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Postby Socrates on 25 Oct 2006, 10:09

I have been contacted by the Turners Hill Town Twinning Association and asked to mention in this forum that they are organising a day trip to Boulogne on 11 November. Cost is £28. Contact carolesteggles@btinternet.com.

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