Post-Brexit plea to renew German ‘twin town’ links

Twin town agreement between South Ribble and Schleswig Flensburg
Twin town agreement between South Ribble and Schleswig Flensburg
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A call has been made to renew South Ribble’s links with its twin borough in Germany.

Leyland Councillor Derek Forrest said the area was “not living up to the agreement” drawn up in 1980 with Schleswig Flensburg.

Coun Derek Forrest

Coun Derek Forrest

The agreement was intended to foster mutual understanding between the two areas. Pledges include a youth exchange programme to ‘bring together our youthful generation’ and to ‘pursue all routes which will lead to a thriving relationship closely binding our people together’.

Coun Forrest said: “In this post-Brexit time, I think we need to review our links to this German twin town. We’ve done nothing on the partnership for years, it’s like we’ve shelved the whole business. I read the agreement and couldn’t really believe it. I’d like to see the two nations get together and maybe try to get other things planned.”

Coun Phil Smith said: “Over the years children from schools, sports clubs and churches from Penwortham, Leyland and Bamber Bridge have travelled to Germany with the aim of encouraging friendship and understanding between the nations.

“One particular highlight was in December 2014, when we welcomed a team of young footballers over from Germany to play in a special match against pupils from All Hallows High School in Penwortham to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914.

“During 35 years of friendship both towns have shared information and learnt from each other, and whilst we haven’t any current plans in the diary, I am sure the council will enjoy plenty more trips to Germany in the future.”