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IN DEFENCE OF TOWN TWINNING

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A news feature in The Scotsman (3 June p13) asks the question: does twinning serve the towns or just their councill...
A news feature in The Scotsman (3 June p13) asks the question: does twinning serve the towns or just their councillors?

The concept of twinning has now become associated with junkets, as exemplified by recent stories about members of North Lanarkshire Council, who planned a June twinning trip to St Denis, the Paris suburb whose stadium will host the World Cup final.

A spokeswomen for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, which co-ordinates most of Scotland's twinning, explains that much of the emphasis now is on promoting European citizenship - young people make sporting, educational and cultural exchanges and business people study working practices. 'There are some very enthusiastic people out there twninning at the moment,' she says.

Eddie Malcolm, a West Lothian councillor, paid for a recent twinning visit to Bavaria out of his own pocket and found it enjoyable and invaluable.

The article concludes that twinning can do good; affluent twins can help their less fortunate siblings in hard times and there is no doubt that business, educational and cultural exchanges can be beneficial. But many argue that the aim of forging solidarity and kinship has gone.
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