By Helen Wright, Reporter
Friday, November 9, 2012
HATFIELD Town Council are asking for peoples views on creating a town twinning partnership with Poland after relations with Zierikzee have faded.
The town looks set to cut its links to Zierikzee, on the outskirts of Amsterdam, with plans afoot to replace it with a twin in eastern Poland instead.
Bosses at Hatfield Town Council say they have had only limited contact with their Dutch counterparts in the last two years, leaving them with little choice but to part ways.
Instead, they are eyeing up a fresh link with Swidnik – a university town with a history of building aircraft.
The move has been put forward because Hatfield has a Polish population of around 2,000, and the head of the Hatfield Polish Forum is backing the link.
Michal Siewniak said Hatfield had a number of similiarities with Swidnik, with both towns being around the same size.
He said: “I cannot tell you how happy I would be if there was a successful twinning.
“I think it would bring another dimension to what we do and a partnership between the two countries, and it makes a big difference on the ground to people.”
A spokeswoman from Hatfield town council said that the reason the partnership with Zierikzee had come to an end was due to a lack of central administration after the town became absorbed by the Schouwen Duiveland region of Amsterdam.
Town twinning aims to promote the heritage of both towns, create business opportunities and platforms for co-operation between the towns on a range of educational, cultural and economic issues.
Hatfield Town Council is now calling on residents to have a say.
The link with Zierikzee began in 1953, when the people of Hatfield contributed to a flood relief fund, part of which was sent to Zierikzee and the two towns formed a lasting partnership.
To contact the town council email email@example.com or Twitter @hatfieldtc or Facebook www.facebook.com/HatfieldTownCouncil.