TWINNING will no longer be funded by Pontypool Community Council after fears were raised over “obscene and unjustifiable” costs.

The community council has handed over responsibility for the cultural arrangement including organising and funding the three-yearly twinning conference and youth festival to Pontypool Twinning Association.

It is estimated it will save the council thousands of pounds yearly and tens of thousands when footing the bill for the youth event, held in August this year.

When the festival was held in Pontypool in 2009, the total budget was around £24,000.

Figures are due to be released regarding the cost of this year’s event but at a special full meeting it was unanimously agreed that the council hand over all twinning matters.

During the meeting New Inn ward members said they would struggle to justify the cost to residents, while others questioned the benefits of the agreement.

Council chairman Cllr Giles Davies, who attacked twinning plans in 2009 over a lack of “value for money”, said afterwards that some of the amounts spent were “ridiculous”.

“I’m not against twinning but I don’t think taxpayers should foot the bill, it should instead come from grants,” he said.

“I feel the money would be better spent elsewhere, especially in today’s economic climate.”

Pontypool is twinned with Condeixa in Portugal, Longumeau in France and Bretten in Germany.