Local Partnerships (Towns)

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Local Partnerships (Towns)

The partnerships between towns, cities and regions, generally known as “Twinning” in English, has been a feature of civic life ever since the post-war period.
There are over a thousand such relationships in the UK with their counterparts in the EU alone, with many being “twinned” with multiple partners. All the success factors which apply to informal partnerships and those between educational establishments apply to Council-to-Council partnerships.

This is because, apart from elected representatives such as Councillors, numerous other individuals and organisations may be involved in the relationship. The larger city and regional partnerships may well also be driven by commercial objectives and involve business representatives and employers. Usually, official funding and permanent staff are required for these relationships to operate successfully.

Available Guides

For a useful guide to the “do’s” and “don’ts” of these formal partnerships, refer to “Take your Partners”, a handbook by the now-disbanded Local Government International Bureau authored by Susan Handley, whose advice and prescriptions are still valid today (http://lymingtontwinning.weebly.com/uploads/6/7/5/2/6752968/take_your_partners.pdf)

Another guide is provided by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and its website ((http:www.twinning.org)

Here are some examples of successful Council to Council Partnerships. Further information can be found on the relevant websites for each partnership.

  • Bath/Alkmaar/Aix-en-Provence/Braunshweig/Kaposvar
  • Bristol/Bordeaux/Hannover
  • Bromsgrove/Gronau/St Saveur Landeline
  • Glasgow/Turin/Nuremberg/Marseille
  • Leeds/Brno/Dortmund/Lille
  • Liverpool/Cologne/Dublin/Odessa
  • Richmond/Konstanz/Fontainebleau
  • York/Dijon/Munster