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Councillors Kept In The Dark About Another Twinning Visit

Conservative councillors are asking why they have been kept in the dark about council officers making an exploratory visit to Versailles, a potential twinning partner for Guildford.

One councillor, who did not wish to be named, said: “It would be fair to say that this news has come as a surprise to virtually the whole Conservative group, except the leadership of course.”

Guildford Borough Council announced last September that Versailles had been identified as a potential twin town but the main focus at the time was the agreement to link with Dongying in China, an arrangement many councillors, including some Conservatives were unhappy about.

The council was told that Versailles was proposed by the British Embassy in Paris after GBC had been told by representatives of Bar Le Duc, 150 Miles east of Paris, that the town did not wish to re-initiate a twinning agreement which had remained dormant since it was made in the 1950s.

Three council officers are understood to have made the reconnaissance trip accompanied by the chairman of the Guildford-Freiburg Association, Barbara Ford.

Asked if it was the secrecy that surrounded the visit or the idea of twinning with Versailles that troubled him, the Tory councillor confirmed it was the secrecy culture at Millmead adding: “I’ve been to Versailles. It’s great.”

Hon Alderman Gordon Bridger commented: “While Versailles is a better link than Dongying, unless there are voluntary groups behind it such a relationship is of no social or other value and just provides free trips for a few.

“Twinning was a good idea in the post-war world but of less value when most people can afford travel and videos and films are so abundant.”

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5 Responses to Councillors Kept In The Dark About Another Twinning Visit

  1. Lisa Wright Reply

    January 14, 2018 at 4:43 am

    What else goes on at GBC that no one ever hears about?

  2. Gina Redpath Reply

    January 16, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Is Versailles twinning going ahead or not?

    • Susan Jones Reply

      January 19, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Another staff jolly at our expense! I think you should be a Councillor Ms Redpath – your no nonsense to the point questions would get results I’m sure.

  3. Alan Robertson Reply

    January 16, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    If the leadership has contempt for its own party members, imagine how it feels about the opinions of the electorate.

  4. Raineee Wornham Reply

    January 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Another waste of money. It’s just like the “Tranquil Room” they had made in the old council offices for meetings so everyone can feel relaxed.

    So much money is wasted while the council’s old housing stocks are falling to bits around the tenants’ ears. Litter pickers are a rare commodity and park equipment is in poor condition.

    Cutbacks on services but let’s send councillors and council staff to China and Versailles. Money well spent? I don’t think so.

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