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Trip to France is being planned to maintain Ilkley twinning relationship
11:41am Friday 18th January 2013 in Local news
A delegation will visit Ilkley’s twin town of Coutances in Normandy this summer as renewed efforts to strengthen ties between the two communities goes on.
The visit to the French town is planned for June 20 to June 24, following a successful trip of Coutances residents to Ilkley last year.
It is hoped the visit will keep up civic ties between the two towns as well as pave the way for greater links between schools, societies and other organisations on both sides of the Channel.
Chairman of the Ilkley Coutances Twinning Committee Judith Dunn approached Ilkley Parish Council last week to report back on recent success, and let councillors known the committee was planning to ask the council for funding.
She looked back on the 2012 visit of French visitors to Ilkley.
“It was an extremely successful visit, we managed to create a lot of new links between Coutances and Ilkley,” said Mrs Dunn.
“The Twinning Committee have planned to visit coutances this year to capitalise on all these links.”
She said she would probably be approaching Ilkley Parish Council shortly to request funding for twinning activities, and hoped councillors would look favourably on the enterprise.
“It has been extremely fruitful on all levels of Ilkley society,” said Mrs Dunn.
She thanked Bradford and Ilkley parish councillor Mike Gibbons for organising a jazz concert during last year’s twinning visit.
Ilkley Parish Council chairman Councillor Heathcliffe Bowen praised the recent successes of the twinning activities.
He said: “The twinning is very much going from strength to strength, some quite important links are being made through the businesses, cycling club and schools. These are new links that are being made. It’s very much a burgeoning enterprise at the moment.”
He also spoke about the formal civic ties between the two towns – something the parish council debated giving up several years ago – and which he said many other towns no longer maintained.
“Ilkley has retained that civic element, it’s something important for the town,” said Coun Bowen.