Palestine twinning idea thrown out by Bourton-on-the-Water villagers
VILLAGERS in one of the Cotswolds' most picturesque tourist attractions have kicked out plans to twin with a Palestinian community.
Members of Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council had been asked to consider a twinning agreement with a Palestinian village.
After looking at the details of the request from resident Myra Ford, councillors responded one month later with similar views. The majority of councillors explained that they were concerned about twinning with such a culturally different area.
Several councillors also said it seemed inappropriate to make a decision without knowing the community was fully supportive of the idea.
Cllr Brian Harden said the council "should not spend any more time considering the matter."
Vice Chairman Cllr Tim Faulkner said he did not see how the twinning would work: "There is no problem if we decide to twin with somewhere like France as its culture is similar to ours. Palestine is religious and political whereas this council is neither," he said. "It is also very expensive to twin with another village."
Bourton resident Myra Ford said she was disappointed that the parish council had objected to the idea but grateful it had been seriously considered.
"I understand their concern about the possibility of implying some form of political bias as the council is completely non-political," she said.
Myra first had the idea of twinning with a Palestine village after visiting the country with her husband several years ago.
"I have been mindful of the situation there and wanted to help, even in a small way, to achieve a lasting peace," she said.
"I recently went to a presentation in Oxford regarding the issue and a handout was given to me titled ‘What we can do here in the UK’ to help further the cause of a lasting peace. One of the suggestions listed was ‘Twinning and Friendship Links’."
Myra explained that she thought twinning with a European country like France seemed more like a social activity. "Many people here already know about European culture, customs, and places but maybe not so many know about Palestine today.
"Twinning with a Palestine village would not only be a cultural exchange but it would also bring the situation there to the attention of the people in our area and maybe serve as moral support to the people living in the Palestine village."
Although the parish council objected to Myra's request, she said there was support for the idea locally and she would now approach the Bourton Christian Council and local churches to see if those organisation may be interested in a forming a friendship link with a Palestinian village.
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