Dobra in Poland could be next member of Cromer’s twinning family

A bid to look behind the old Iron Curtain to extend Cromer's family of twin towns looks set to move forward.

The town council is investigating a future twinning with the Polish town of Dobra, which is a few miles from the city of Szczecin in the north-west of the country.

The possibility was raised at last Monday's town council meeting, where members heard that some early groundwork had already been done to establish the link.

Cromer is already twinned with Crest in France and Nidda in Germany.

Crest is also twinned with Ponte San Nicolo in Italy, which is shortly set to formally twin with Dobra, opening up the possibility of formal and informal links between Cromer and four European countries.

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In June, Cromer mayor Greg Hayman told the town council the promotions committee was suggesting an expanded network of twin towns, and suggested the 'European accession countries', including Poland.

At the town council meeting, Cromer Twinning Association vice-chairman Tony Nash said he had recently returned from a visit to Nidda, where the town was celebrating 30 years of twinning with Crest. Representatives from Dobra and Ponte San Nicolo were also there.

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He said: 'I spoke at length with a Polish lawyer from Dobra and explained that we had a fair sized Polish community in Cromer, and it was thought that an informal link may be made with Dobra, to encourage our Polish community to become more involved in Cromer through this link with their country.'

He added: 'My view on a future twinning is that a link with Poland would help encourage our own Poles to be more involved and integrated with our community. However there will be a cost involved which is a real point to consider.'

Phil Harris said the members had to be aware of recent public comments about 'local junkets' in connection with stories about Cromer twinning.

He said: 'There's a question about what the people in Cromer are going to get out of twinning. I would like Cromer to consider twinning with a town in Africa. It could make a massive impact.'

The council agreed to refer the issue to its promotions committee, with Mr Nash and fellow councillor and twinning committee chairman Hilary Thompson asked to investigate potential costs.

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