Twinning suffering due to apathy

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Interest in Kirriemuir’s long-standing twinning arrangement with Volvic in France appears to have dried up.

At last week’s meeting of the town’s community council, members were told that there seems to be little interest in reviving the arrangement, which has lapsed in recent years.

The two towns have been twinned for almost 40 years but member Alan Bell said that even original members of the twinning committee are not interested in becoming involved again.

He said: “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of major interest in Kirriemuir. I’ve been to the Round Table and others, and I spoke to a member of the original committee who said there is still a residue of the committee, but there’s really no interest at all.

“The committee in Volvic, however, are quite keen but there’s a slight impasse; if we go down the road of inviting people to Kirrie, morally we’d have an obligation to provide accommodation, things for them to do, a welcoming reception and we don’t have the back-up for these things.”

One particularly strong aspect of the twinning was exchange visits with Webster’s High School and Mr Bell said the hope for it continuing lies with the younger generation, although he added that the situation is ironic given that with modern communications, such arrangements have never been easier to pursue

He continued: “S1 and S2 pupils at Webster’s are writing to kids in Volvic and I’m waiting to see what results they come up with.

“I hope that will prompt their parents into some kind of interest as without the kids and their parents Kirrie just doesn’t seem to be interested.”

Mr Bell added that funding would also be required if the twinning is to continue.

He said: “If we are to do anything at all we have to invite people from Volvic in a reasonably official and professional way but we can’t do that without some kind of funding. It’s an advantage; in this country we’ve never learned enough foreign languages and we should be encouraging the kids to learn.”