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Northwich Town Council funds trip to Ireland
TAX payers will fund a town council trip to Ireland despite a ruling against twinning visits in austere times.
But Northwich Town Council said the visit is an exceptional circumstance as the four-person delegation is saying a final farewell to a longstanding friend.
The topic was debated at the March meeting and introduced by mayor Clr George Mainwaring.
“We passed a rule that because there’s so much unemployment in the town we wouldn’t go off on twinning because, with the best will in the world, people would still perceive it as a jolly,” he said.
“It’s up to council to decide if they want to change the rule they passed.”
Northwich is twinned with Carlow, in Ireland, and Dole, in France.
Clr Gill Gough, chairman of the twinning committee, said: “In May next year Carlow Town Council is being disbanded and swallowed up like Vale Royal Borough Council was swallowed up.
“There’s been a link between Carlow and Northwich since before the Dole link with us and that’s over 50 years.
“We’ve been invited to go to the gathering in Carlow and they’ve asked for four people to go on the visit as it would be the last time.
“Seeing as the town has been linked with them for all those years I think it would be rude not to accept their offer of the visit as recognition of the friendship between the two towns.”
But deputy town mayor Clr Bob Robinson, who will be mayor at the time of the visit, said: “It’s a very difficult situation.
“The problem we’ve got is that the council made a ruling and both last year and this year we backed out of going to Dole.
“I feel that anyone that wishes to go to Carlow in these austere times should pay for themselves to go.”
The council put it to the vote and decided to go ahead with funding the trip.
• What do you think? Should twinning be off the council agenda completely during a recession or should the town council stand by its friendship of more than 50 years with a final visit to Carlow? Have your say on northwichguardian.co.uk