AT a recent Calstock Parish Council meeting this week, there was an exciting talk about the village possibly twinning with a village in Ukraine. 

Inspired by Liskeard town mayor Cllr Simon Cassidy, and the new partnership of Liskeard with the village of Kopychyntsi, councillor Alastair Tinto put forward a proposal to potentially follow a similar route. 

Cllr Cassidy attended the meeting in full regalia and was joined by Darren and Polly Tait from the Cornwall and Devon Sending Love To Ukraine convoy group, Calstock residents Andrew and Louise Morton who are also part of the of the convoys (Andrew has also chaired a twinning group in Hampshire) and Yuliya Teplova who has lived in Calstock with her family for the last 18 months after moving from Ukraine — each all spoke movingly in support of the proposal. 

At the meeting, Cllr Tinto said: “Liskeard is one of the few places in the UK formally to twin with a town in Ukraine. Why not Calstock Parish? 

“We already have strong links with Ukraine. Ukrainian families have settled here. Darren Tait, who runs convoys of supplies for Ukraine to Poland and who was our 2022 Citizen of the Year, lives in St Ann’s Chapel. Many people in the parish collect goods for the convoys. This is a good time to deepen links with a formal twinning.” 

The twinning could provide a variety of opportunities for both communities including linking schools together to help children learn English through pen pals and zoom calls. 

The first step of the twinning process would be to identify a suitable equivalent community to twin with. 

Once a community is identified, Zoom meetings would potentially be set up between the two councils to initiate the link. 

Cllr Tinto continued: “There would be a memorandum of agreement to formalise the relationship.” 

At the meeting, Cllr Tinto went onto discuss who would help to work on the proposal suggesting Yuliya who could provide knowledge and act as a translator, Andrew, Darren and two other councillors. 

Cllr Tinto continued: “This is not just symbolic relationship. Exchange visits while Ukraine is a war zone are unlikely but the Parish Council, through the support group, will have to find ways of deepening and strengthening the link.” 

Cllr Cassidy commented: “It was a real honour to be asked by Cllr Alastair Tinto to attend a meeting of Calstock Parish Council and talk to them about the plight of the Ukrainian people, the amazing work that Darren Tait is doing to help them, and the benefits of forming a relationship with a town in Ukraine. 

“I know that number of towns in South East Cornwall are now looking at twinning with towns in Ukraine and I am more than happy to help them with this.” 

It was reported that the council was very warmly supportive of the proposal and agreed unanimously that the twinning process should begin.