Pendle-Palestine links should be further formalised

I read with dismay the letter from Coun. James Starkie attempting to reassert the point of view of Pendle Conservatives that “there is no formal link with Pendle Council and Beit Leed”.

On December 18th, 2012, the council voted by a clear majority to “finalise the proposal for a formal twinning arrangement with Beit Leed on the West Bank”.

Since then, the Tory group on the council has mounted a campaign to undermine the wishes and good intentions of the council.

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Pendle is already twinned with Marl in Germany and Creil in France.

Now, Marl is also twinned with Herzliya in Israel and Creil is also twinned with Bethlehem in Palestine.

Pendle’s twin town in Germany is organising an international youth event from August 14th-21st and inviting four young people and leaders from each of the following countries to take part: England, France, Poland, Haiti, Palestine, Senegal, Israel, Hungary, Morocco, Turkey and possibly China.

If the Tories on the council do not think it is a matter for our council to get involved in twinning with Beit Leed, how can they think it is a matter for our council to get involved with this international youth event organised by our German twin town, Marl? Yet, there it is on the official Pendle Council website.

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Of course, it is indeed a matter for our council to get involved in and rightly so. We insult the twinning movement and our twin towns by asserting it is not the business of our council to be involved with such international events or to decide to have a formal link with Beit Leed.

The Pendle Palestine Twinning Group should be formalised as a sub-committee of Pendle Twinning Association as soon as possible and any budget implications should be considered as part of the budget-making process.

In this way, Pendle’s formal twin since December 18th, 2012, Beit Leed, can also be involved in such international youth events.

David Foat