France meets village resistance

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The Independent Online
Cotswold villagers have thrown out plans for a twinning agreement with a town in France in a surprising display of anti-French feeling.

Residents of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, rejected the idea by a majority of four to one. They said an emphatic "Non" when they were asked if they supported a formal twinning link with Oudon in France to celebrate the Millennium. Parish councillors are planning to refurbish a 100-year-old drinking fountain on the ancient Fosse Way instead. Councillor Vera Norwood said: "I'm very upset and disappointed and so is Oudon."

The village is, ironically, the headquarters of France Magazine, a publication sold to Francophiles nationwide. Dominic Chudleigh, spokesman for the magazine, said: "I'm extremely surprised this plan has fallen down."

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