TWINNING chiefs have rejected controversial plans to twin Worcester and Gaza.
The rejection of the plans was finally revealed in an email sent out to Worcester City Council by the chairman of the City of Worcester Twinning Association, Nevill Swanson, at midnight.
Bizarrely, the decision was not announced after last night's meeting, even though it had already been made.
The Worcester News was not allowed to attend the meeting or even enter Worcester Guildhall to await the decision.
Worcester City Council also could not confirm the decision last night.
The association says it will be for the council to fund any twinning link with Gaza as it does not have the 'resources' to pursue the link despite extending its sympathy to the people of Gaza.
The Executive Committee of the City of Worcester Twinning Association agreed on the following response to Worcester City Council which we have published in full:
"As is well known to the world, the City of Worcester Twinning Association received an invitation from Worcester City Council 'to consider a twinning arrangement with Gaza City'.
"The Executive Committee appreciates the understandable desire to express sympathy with the sufferings of the people, and especially the children, of Gaza City but does not believe that a twinning arrangement is the most appropriate or practical means of meeting their humanitarian needs.
"The Association is a voluntary, self-funded body and has neither the resources nor the competences (sic) to embark on the complex arrangements that would be needed to set up a meaningful relationship with Gaza City even if it were to be established that the people of Gaza City wished it and were able to reciprocate in most of the activities required to constitute an active twinning link.
"Without such prospects for the foreseeable future, we consider that this proposal does not meet the criteria for a genuinely successful twinning at the present time.
"The decision whether or not to proceed with an official twinning must, of course, rest with the Council but we regret our inability, in this instance, to take on such a responsibility on its behalf in addition to those links for which we currently accept full organisational responsibility.
"This, of course, does not prevent the Council from organising and funding a formal link with Gaza City if both potential partners want to give effect to the Council's apparent wish for
UPDATE: Worcester City Council has released the following statement:
"The Council would like to thank the City of Worcester Twinning Association for considering the recent proposal that has been put to them.
"We note the outcome of the Twinning Association's discussions and therefore have no plans to progress this matter further."
- For reaction to this story please see tomorrow's Worcester News. In the meantime let us know your thoughts below.