A new twin town for Woking
At a meeting of the Executive tonight, councillors agreed to support a Notice of Motion I tabled which calls on the council to open negotiations with a town or municipality of a similar size to Woking in Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa.
While the council already has twinning arrangements with Rastatt in Germany, Amstelveen in Holland and Le Plessis-Robinson in France, these relationships are symptomatic of an outdated view of the world. We are living through a massive shift in economic power as the BRICS nations, led by China and India, emerge as major manufacturers and service providers, while the established economies in Western Europe are in relative decline. These changes could bring us to greater success here in the UK, or they could destroy businesses and jobs if we have insufficient workforce skills, commercial knowledge and links with the emerging markets which are set to dominate the global economy in the next few years.
This matter will now be taken up by a task group which will examine what process would be involved in twinning with a new town, what the costs would be, and what benefits it could bring to Woking. We will be carrying out a public consultation to ascertain the views of residents and local businesses, and report back to councillors with our recommendations in due course.