Town Twinning celebrated by new borough champion

Release Date: 28 June 2017

The borough’s commitment to international ‘Twinning’ with towns in Germany, France and USA has been cemented with the announcement of a new Twinning Champion for Richmond upon Thames.

Town Twinning is a social agreement between towns, cities, provinces, regions and states, in geographically and politically distinct areas, promoting cultural and commercial ties. Richmond upon Thames is ‘Twinned’ with Fontainebleau in France, Richmond, Virginia in the USA and Konstanz in Germany. 

Cllr Martin Seymour has been appointed the borough’s first Twinning Champion. His role is to support Twinning events and activities across the borough.  Since being appointed, a framework has been developed to provide guidance to local residents on conducting twinning events in the borough and the Council’s role. 

To launch his role, Cllr Seymour is presenting a report to full Council next week, highlighting the framework and reviewing the Twinning activities that have been carried out in the borough recently and are planned for the next six months.  

This includes:

  • Pocahontas Celebration – A visit from three Native American Chiefs from Richmond Virginia in March 2017.
  • Belgian Refugee Commemoration – To commemorate the history of the Belgian Refugees who took up residence in East Twickenham after World War One.
  • 40th Anniversary Charity Cycle Ride – Richmond is celebrating the 40th anniversary of being twinned with Fountainbleau with a cycle ride from the French Town to Twickenham in September.
  • European Youth Orchestra Performance - A European Youth Orchestra, with students from music schools in Konstanz, Germany; Fountainebleau, France; and Lodi, Italy, will be coming to Twickenham from 7-8 October to perform at Twickenham Stadium.

Cllr Seymour said:

“Celebrating our links with other countries seems more important than ever. 

“In today’s society it sometimes feels that forces of division are becoming stronger. However this programme of activity that has been organised by a number of local groups and organisations, is a testament to the values of unity and friendship from our borough to the rest of the world.

“The Council encourages residents to conduct Twinning projects, and will provide support and signposting when possible.

“I hope that the new framework will help inspire local organisations to celebrate our links with our international friends. And, I look forward to attending and being part of as many as possible.”

For more information about Twinning visit the Twinned Towns page, and view the annual report.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, or a high resolution image of Cllr Seymour, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P296/17

Updated: 30 June 2017