Olé? Make that oh nay to twinning

MORPETH will not be off to sunny, sunny Spain after town councillors said oh-nay to town twinning plans.

A trip to the Costa Blanca could have been on the cards for organisations across Morpeth after the Spanish town of San Fulgencio approached Morpeth Town Council with a town twinning idea.

However, local councillors were less enthusiastic about the proposal.

Coun Mark Horton said: “The EU used to give a fair chunk of money to set up these things, but we considered this when we were approached by a town from Romania and we couldn’t see any benefit to Morpeth.

“It takes a lot of effort and there are other ways of building links with communities in other countries.”

And Mayor Phil Taylor was concerned at the potential costs involved.

“Personally, I think it would be very hard to do for us as a town council because it becomes very expensive,” he said.

“When I lived in Lanark we were twinned with a town in Germany and there were a lot of people coming across, football teams, schools, civic societies and history societies, and they were all presented at a reception in the Mayor’s Chamber, every time somebody came across.”

However, the council has not ruled out setting up informal links with the Spanish town.

Coun Derek Thompson said: “We can write and say that although we are not in a position to consider full town twinning arrangements, we could exchange ideas with them from time to time because they may have some that could be of benefit to us and we to them.

“We could have an informal arrangement, rather than just saying no.”

Members of the full council agreed with his proposal.