Royston, Herts, Twinned With ... Benghazi, Councillor Gerald Morris Hopes
The town of Royston in Hertfordshire may not have any immediate similarities with Benghazi in Libya, but last week the town council suggested pairing up as twin towns.
Tranquil Royston lies on the northern slopes of the Hertfordshire Chalk Downs, while its potential twin, the first Libyan rebel stronghold, bakes in the heat by the Mediterranean. Royston is a Roman town with a population of 15, 000 - the port city of Benghazi has 670, 000 residents.
Councillor Gerald Morris expressed his hopes at a district council meeting over the issue. Earlier in September the council formalised a twinning with the Spanish town of Villaneuva de la Canade, but Morris was thinking of broadening Royston's horizons.
In the meeting last week he expressed his eagerness by posing the question: “If we want to be really ahead of the game and twin with a Libyan town, how would we do it?”
“I’m deadly serious,” he added.
David Gray, chairman of the Royston twinning association for 22 years, agreed that it was a "very good idea".
He told Cambridge News: ''Usually you twin with a town that has a similar population and make up, but I would not rule Benghazi out. Royston might well appeal to Libyans as we are close to London and to airports".
After the meeting Morris told the local newspaper, the Royston Crow, that he wanted to help Libya integrate into the international community: “When things settle down, we should look at towns further afield than the central parts of Europe.”
The Libyan Embassy has yet to comment on the Royston twinning suggestion.