Harrogate says no to twin plan

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HOPES of Dewsbury being twinned with Harrogate were dashed this week after its representatives rejected the idea.

It had been thought that Harrogate Spa Ladies were keen to see their town twin with Dewsbury following successful visits. But any formal twinning would need approval from Harrogate Borough Council, which says it knows nothing of the plans. And former Harrogate Mayor Coun Pat Jones, who has been involved in bolstering ties between the towns, said twinning simply wasn’t going to happen.

“We’re very good friends with Dewsbury and want to remain that way, but there are absolutely no plans whatsoever,” she said.

In 2009, representatives from Harrogate Spa Ladies joined Dewsbury Means Business for a tour of attractions including the market and Dewsbury Minster.

Coun Jones said she didn’t understand why a proposal to establish formal civil ties had now been mooted.

“In these troubled times, we wouldn’t be blasé and start spending money on twinning,” she said.

But Gerald Egan, of Dewsbury Means Business, said the idea was raised during a return visit by a Dewsbury delegation to Harrogate.

He said: “I’m disappointed because it was Harrogate who had proposed it.”

Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Eric Firth, said: “Obviously, someone has been misled. It’s disappointing because it’s good to build relationships between towns.

“Regardless, the people of Harrogate will still be very welcome to visit our town and can expect a warm welcome when they do.”