'Hard-up' town offered aid Peasants come to town's aid

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The Independent Online
COUNCILLORS in Stockport, Greater Manchester, voted last night to 'explore the potential' of a friendship agreement with peasant farmers in the Okara district of Pakistan, writes John Arlidge.

Villagers in the Punjabi region want to airlift free fruit and vegetables to the town to feed the elderly and 'other hard-up people' after reading newspaper reports of its plight during the recession.

Councillors were told that the offer may have damaged Stockport's reputation and some said residents would feel guilty about accepting free food from the Indian sub-continent, where many people were malnourished. Others insisted that the food - to be flown over on jumbo jets - would be welcome. Maureen Rowles, a Labour councillor, said: 'Let's not pretend that we don't have our problems here too.'