Council is split over twinning

PUBLISHED: 10:25 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010

BUNTINGFORD will be twinning with Olvega in Spain despite a dispute between town councillors. But although the twinning scheme was given the go-ahead at Thursday evening's town council meeting members were divided over the issue. Cllr Eunice Woods said:

BUNTINGFORD will be twinning with Olvega in Spain despite a dispute between town councillors. But although the twinning scheme was given the go-ahead at Thursday evening's town council meeting - members were divided over the issue. Cllr Eunice Woods said: "I think the concept is great and I'm all for people joining together, but it's going to cost people in time and in money and the council can't afford it. "I'm not against integration, but it's for such a small minority of the town." Cllr Teresa Bonner said: "People are going to think the money will come out of the town council's precept. "They will look at it and say we haven't got anything in the town as it is. If people want to go to Spain, then let them go and don't involve the council." At the meeting, Cllr Jon Ling and mayor Cllr Jean Cook, who have visited Olvega and talked to representatives of the Spanish town over the past two years, supported the twining proposal. Cllr Ling said: "There's no way in which the town council will be committed to paying out money for the scheme. "Olvega gains much money from the EU in order to finance twinning events. They put up visitors from Luynes (Buntingford's French twin-town) and more recently from Buntingford. "In order for Buntingford to be able to offer the same hospitality to Olvega people, it would be necessary to obtain similar finance from the EU and East Herts District Council. "This would not cost the town council anything at all, as long as those who wish to maintain the present arrangement continue to be prepared to pay for travel." Cllr John Warren said: "Unless you open your doors to people you won't get the means to achieve things. "You have to have an official representative for the twinning scheme and the town council is the official representative." Cllr Ling added: "Buntingford will gain considerably from the cultural links and outcomes from such an arrangement in terms of exchange visits, Spanish language development and sporting opportunities.

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