Business and tourism groups respond to twinning row

The business and tourism group has agreed a meeting with the twinning organisation
The business and tourism group has agreed a meeting with the twinning organisation

Stonehaven Business Association and Stonehaven Tourism Group have issued a response following the controversy over the town’s twinning with Athens in Alabama.

Concern has been expressed by some in the local community at official links with the US state, particularly over its abortion laws.

The row over the partnership has featured prominently in the last two editions of the Leader.

It flared as a delegation from Athens, including the Mayor, visited Stonehaven earlier this month.

Stonehaven and North East Twinning Group rejected suggestions there had been no consultation over the twinning with Athens and stressed it was more than prepared to find ways to improve communication and make presentations to interested groups and agencies.

In a statement, Stonehaven Business Association and Stonehaven Tourism Group said: “The Stonehaven Business Association and Stonehaven Tourism Group are aware of the recent publicity concerning the twinning of the town and share some of the concerns over its contentious nature.

“Neither group has spoken out against the ties with Athens, Alabama.

“We were not involved in that decision but do have concerns over the governance of the Twinning Group.

“We have agreed to meet with the Twinning Group to find out more about their processes, and to ensure that the businesses of the town have a say in any future plans.”