Delegation looks to strengthen ties with French twin town

Denise Summers of Aylesbury Town Council presents a print of Market Square to Guillaume Lacroix at a recent trip to Aylesbury's twin town of Bourg En Bresse

Denise Summers of Aylesbury Town Council presents a print of Market Square to Guillaume Lacroix at a recent trip to Aylesbury's twin town of Bourg En Bresse

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Relations with Aylesbury’s twin town in France are set to be strengthened to include trade and agricultural links.

Councillor Denise Summers, who was part of a delegation which visited Bourg-en-Bresse, said her counterparts were very enthusiastic about bringing the two towns closer.

She said: “The Bourg people want to open ties into agriculture and so on. They are very similar to us in that agriculture is a mainstay for them.

“It was overwhelming how much they wanted to send the message to the people of Aylesbury how much they appreciate the partnership.

“They want to take it into commerce and agriculture and areas of mutual benefit. They want to make it more than just being penpals across the sea.

“They were saying they want to meet up with farmers in Aylesbury and so I invited them to join us at the Bucks County Show. I’m hoping we can get them a stand there. Although they are twinned with the town they are interested in learning about the whole county.”

Since twinning 12 years ago, schools such as Turnfurlong and Sir Henry Floyd have sent their pupils on exchanges to the town in eastern France. Aylesbury’s new bridge linking town to Southcourt was also named in the French town’s honour.

Mrs Summers said: “Everywhere you went they mentioned the bridge – they were absolutely chuffed.”

However, she thinks a similarly impressive new landmark being named after Aylesbury is unlikely – but only because Bourg-en-Bresse hasn’t seen the massive growth and development of our town.

“Unlike Aylesbury which has changed over the years with really only the centre having any old buildings, a lot has been preserved in Bourg-en-Bresse. But I’m sure they’ll think of something.”

During her visit Mrs Summers presented a framed print of Aylesbury’s Market Square to Deputy Mayor Guillaume Lacroix.

She said: “He said he was thrilled to pieces. He is going to hang it in his office.”