Residents unaware of Hammersmith & Fulham plans to twin with every EU country

By Zoe Osterloh
March 5 2020, 10.00

Hammersmith & Fulham will soon be twinned with a city in every single EU country, according to a statement released by the council. 

The move to twin with a town in each of the 27 EU countries was announced on January 31, the day the UK left the European Union, to reiterate the council’s commitment to Europe post-Brexit. 

A Hammersmith & Fulham Council spokesman could not say when details of the future twinnings would be announced.

“We’re working on it,” he said, adding that the plan could have a meaningful impact for residents of the borough. 

“This is a way to strengthen and deepen our links with our European colleagues,” he said.

Hammersmith & Fulham is already twinned with five different towns within the EU.

Last year, a ceremony was held to rededicate a lamp which was given to the borough by Neukölln, a district in West Berlin. 

There was a mixed reaction from borough residents, many of whom were completely unaware of the council’s plans.

Retired train driver Tony Brennan, 76, who correctly guessed that the borough is already twinned with a district in Berlin, said: “It can’t do any harm, can it?

“I’m a Remainer, so any little will help.” 

Other residents were less positive about the potential twinnings. 

Chris Krokatsis, 40, said: “Twinning doesn’t really mean anything. It would be better if they did something more meaningful.

“It’s just a bit silly really. It’s a nice notion but it falls short.” 

More than two thirds of the borough’s residents voted to remain in the EU in 2016. Despite this, questions have been raised over whether or not twinning should be a priority for the council. 

Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers Alliance, said: 

“Councils should not be frittering away time and money on frivolities when raising rates. 

“Taxpayers rightfully expect councillor and staff time to be prioritised on vital and necessary services, not finding foreign cities to twin with.

“The council should focus its priorities better and deliver better services at a lower cost to taxpayers.” 

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