Cambs to end links with German region

Cambridgeshire County Council.

Cambridgeshire County Council. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire’s links with the German region of Kreis Viersen could be brought to an end after more than 40 years.

The county council will next week consider cutting its formal ties with the areas near the Netherlands border, bringing to a close a relationship started in 1971 and turned into a ‘twinning’ arrangement in 1983.

CCC chief executive Mark Lloyd says in a report that while the relationship allowed for various links to be formed between the two regions, the world had moved on and funding was no longer available to support twinning.

The report, which will be considered by cabinet on Tuesday, states: “The relationship between the two regions continued to flourish until the turn of the millennium, but over the last 10 years, perhaps in keeping with the social and political changes underway in Western Europe, the financial constraints and the change in the nature of local government, the exchanges became less regular.”

Links between the two regions continue through friends groups and choirs – in the 1980s the friends group in Germany raised DM18,000 for the restoration of Ely Cathedral – but the formal link has become “dormant”.

Mr Lloyd, the report adds, has spoken with the leaders of the council’s five political groups and all expect “at least five and possibly 10 more years of austerity within UK public services.

“Given the pressures the council faces to meet the needs of our community, they agree that it is highly unlikely that any resources will be available to revive the link between our two counties.”

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The report recommends councillors severe the twinning link.