During November 2009, four Stroud District councillors experienced an interesting and enlightening civic visit to Stroud's twinning district of Gottingen, northern Germany.
Councillors Frances Roden, Barbara Tait, John Hudson and John Jones, who financed the expenses from their own pocket, gain invaluable information and fresh ideas on their four day trip.
Whilst in Gottingen, the councillors visited the council offices, a local college, a Gottingen youth project set up by a youth officer and the local police to deal with problems relating to anti social behaviour and underage drinking, and the high-tech artificial limb factory Otto Bock Healthcare. A guided tour of the historic town of Hann Munden untouched by war, and a visit to a museum at the former border crossing guardhouse, were also some of the highlights of the trip.
Included in this fact finding trip was a visit to the groundbreaking bio-energy village of Juhnde . The village has set up an innovative cooperative to provide renewable energy. The project supplies the heat requirement of the village from a digester which is fuelled by a mixture of cow manure and silage made up of grass, maize and triticale. There is also a bio mass system at the plant, fuelled by wood from the local woodlands and roadside hedgerows, and that energy is sold to the national grid.
See some pictures of our trip on Flickr here: Please note: Click 'show info' for captions - Top right of Flickr
The Stroud District is twinned with Landkreis Göttingen, the rural area surrounding the historic university city of Göttingen in Lower Saxony, Germany.
|This link dates back to July 1951, when a party of young people from the town of Duderstadt visited Stroud. The following month saw a return visit by 50 Stroud teenagers. Both visits were arranged by Stroud's youth worker. In those days, Duderstadt lay only a few miles from the Iron Curtain, while in Britain, food was still rationed.|
Over the years, many thousands of people visited each other's towns, countless friendships were formed and many groups undertook regular exchanges. In 1969, formal twinning links were established between the then Stroud Urban District Council and Duderstadt. During the 1970s, local government reorganisation took place in both countries. Stroud was absorbed into the Stroud District and Duderstadt was absorbed into Landkreis Göttingen, leading to the twinning link we have today.
Today's link remains as strong as ever. Stroud District Council is responsible for the civic twinning between the two councils, while the Stroud District Twinning Association is responsible for community links. The Association is chaired by Cllr Barbara Tait.
Other twinning links: