Commenting after the reception, Dr McLeod, who tabled a motion in Parliament to mark the visit, said:
“Friday night’s reception was a great success and the warm Galloway welcome that the French guests received was an example of this region at its very best. I know that a great deal of hard work has been done over the past few years to get to this point and it is tribute to the efforts of the Newton Stewart and District Town Twinning Association that we have seen everything now come to fruition.
“Special thanks must go to members of the Association and in particular to its Chairman, Meta Maltman, who has been a real champion of the twinning process. It was also great to have the chance to meet with some of the delegation from Marcoussis whom I had last met during their previous visit to Newton Stewart in May 2011.
“Twinning is of course about much more than having a new road sign. It can open up fantastic education, cultural, economic, trade and lots of other opportunities for both partners. It helps to build links between us and our European neighbours and encourages young people in particular to have broad horizons and be ambitious.
“I very much hope that last week’s visit is the start of a long and fruitful relationship and friendship between Newton Stewart and Marcoussis, and one which will be a lasting success.”
Notes to Editors:
The text of Dr McLeod’s motion celebrating the occasion is below:
Newton Stewart Twinned with Marcoussis
That the Parliament notes that 1 November 2013 will mark the formal twinning agreement between Newton Stewart in Galloway and Marcoussis, a commune to the south of Paris; further notes that a group of 19 residents of Marcoussis, headed by the mayor of the town and his family, along with representatives of Marcoussis’ twinning organisation, will arrive in Galloway on 31 October, with a civic reception hosted by Dumfries and Galloway Council taking place on 1 November at which the formal twinning agreement will be signed; believes that twinning agreements can have considerable benefits for both partners; congratulates the Newton Stewart Twinning Association and particularly its chair, Ms Meta Maltman, for their efforts in bringing the twinning agreement to fruition, and hopes that the twinning of Newton Stewart and Marcoussis will be a lasting success.
Supported by: Bill Kidd, Joan McAlpine, Chic Brodie, Annabelle Ewing, Stuart McMillan, David Torrance, Colin Keir, Adam Ingram, Mike MacKenzie, Kevin Stewart, Jim Hume, Rob Gibson, Gil Paterson, Colin Beattie, Jamie Hepburn, Maureen Watt, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, Dennis Robertson