Brentwood in Ukraine pledge

Brentwood Borough Council has pledged to forge economic and cultural ties with a Ukrainian town once the war in the country has finished.

It means the borough council wants to ultimately link up with a town of comparable size to Brentwood in order to “undertake cultural and economic exchanges, explore business opportunities and demonstrate a general desire to help the people of that district or town”.

The pledge stems from a motion unanimously adopted by the council last week that states: “This council resolves to investigate the possibility of twinning with a town of comparable size in Ukraine once the current war in that country has been resolved and Ukraine is a free nation, once more.

“The aim would be to undertake cultural and economic exchanges, explore business opportunities and demonstrate a general desire to help the people of that district/town to rebuild structurally and economically for their future.”

It would add to existing town friendship links between communities in Ukraine and the UK – Rochdale is twinned with Lviv, Barnsley is twinned with Gorlovka, Sheffield is a twin town with Donetsk and Edinburgh is twinned with capital of Ukraine Kyiv.

Councillor David Kendall (Lib Dem, Pilgrims Hatch) said: “I think if we make a general commitment that we want to link up with a town when the time is right, and hopefully that will be when the Russians are no longer in that country, I think it will be a very positive thing.

“And I think if people in our community can actually see practical things that we’re able to do to help these people in a specific town as I say it will bring the thing to life. It will make sure that there’s continued ongoing commitment.”

Leader of Brentwood Borough Council, Cllr Chris Hossack, said: “We all accept that by and large Ukrainian towns are somewhat preoccupied at the moment.

“But at the appropriate time then definitely we should do it. But I don’t think that prevents us right now from reaching out to our Ukrainian community in Brentwood saying we’d like to do it, if you wanted to nominate something that was appropriate, I have no issue with it at all.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter