French mayor's lockdown letter of support to Burnley

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In a latter day spirit of Entente Cordiale, the town of Burnley has received an inspiring letter from the Mayor of the borough's twin French town of Vitry-sur-Seine.

Adressed to the Mayor of Burnley Coun. Anne Kelly, at Burnley Town Hall, the letter from Jean-Claude Kennedy says he and his townsfolk have noted the efforts of Burnley people to help each other throughout the coronavirus lockdown, notably the Burnley Together initiative.

Monsieur Kennedy also said he believes the struggle against coronavirus in Britain and France signifies the ties which also unite the countries.

He wrote: "Dear Madame Mayor,

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Members of Burnley Twinning Association and their French friendsMembers of Burnley Twinning Association and their French friends
Members of Burnley Twinning Association and their French friends | other

"I wanted to enquire how you, and the inhabitants of Burnley, are in these unsettling times. For more than a month the countries of Europe have been experiencing the spread of Coronovirus, although to differing degrees.

"We are following carefully the situation in Great Britain. We have read about the numbers and the measures taken and understand that the peak of the epidemic is expected in a few days. London has taken steps to deal with the virus, notably with this 4,000 bed hospital.

"We have also heard that Burnley is showing its community spirit through the Burnley Together initiative, and we hope that it will bear fruit and be of help to your inhabitants. I sincerely hope that these positive actions will contribute to bringing a rapid end to this health crisis.

"You know that we are committed to the Twinning of our town with Burnley and its people. I hope of course, that both our towns will be able to resume their normal routines and way of life as soon as possible. With this lockdown we are learning patience and civic responsibility, and are learning much about ourselves and others.

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"All over the world we are witnessing powerful gestures of solidarity and fraternity such as the applause which ring out to thank carers, and the volunteers who are working alongside them. For nearly a century these values have been held dear by Vitry and its inhabitants.

"We too are making every effort to reassure everyone in our town. The municipal services concerned with the management of this health crisis have been mobilised in order to meet the most essential needs of the population.

"The health services have been much in demand of course, but also street cleaning, the delivery of meals to elderly people or civil registration services. An operation between the municipality and GPs has been set up for those who have the virus.

"This test which our people are facing is also acting in some way to reveal the ties which unite us. Confinement and the lack of human contact inevitably make us think of those who are important to us. We feel a surge of empathy, a desire to be together, which I believe also governs the friendship between our two peoples.

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"It is this which prompted me to write to you. Also, before we can demonstrate in person to you and the people of Burnley this friendship which is renewed, lasting and genuine, I would like to present my good wishes of support, good health and good luck for the future."

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