CLYDEBANK is to resume trying to twin itself with communities abroad – even as an opposition councillor questioned any potential spending outwith the area.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s cultural committee approved a plan to look at the potential for links with France and Poland.

The council is already linked to Argenteuil, near Paris, and Beauvoisin, southern France, but council officers noted there has been “very little contact” and no civic events or visits in the past five years “due to financial pressures on the council”.

Despite the fact no money was committed at the May 28 meeting to restoring civic links, concerns were raised that the money woes in West Dunbartonshire don’t leave room for focusing on foreign connections.

In 2010, the mayor of Z?pki in Poland wrote to the council proposing a twinning arrangement, but this wasn’t pursued as the focus was then on Beauvoisin.

There is a pot of £25,000 available to use on cultural projects, but committee convener Bailie Denis Agnew insisted writing to Polish and French communities would not cost anything as a first step.

He said: “Clydebank owes a lot to the Polish people.

“In the post-Brexit era, we can’t be in isolation. We can’t keep looking inward.

“This is about enriching our communities. We want new houses and education, but we have to underpin that.”

But Councillor John Millar said elected members were getting “inundated” with complaints about the area looking like a “slum” with budget cuts to greenspace care.

He said: “There’s a time and a place and at the moment, this is not the time to be addressing this.

“When you get to West Dunbartonshire, the flowers stop and it’s an eyesore. Aesthetically we have to make this place look tip-top and it’s not.”

Councillor Diane Docherty said: “Separatism is alive and well out there and we need to reach out to cultures and communities. I think it’s really, really important.

“We’re not asking to spend a massive amount of money – we’re just looking at it.

“People don’t realise how great West Dunbartonshire is. We don’t talk ourselves up enough. Come spend a long weekend here in West Dunbartonshire. Stay here in Clydebank. Go up to the hills and then come down and spend some money.”

The committee voted in favour of writing to communities to restart twinning links but noted Cllr Millar’s dissent.

He added: “I think the costs can be used in our own areas locally and put to better use.”