In a bid to bring business to the Cotswolds, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson is asking a groundbreaking question at this week’s Cotswold District Council meeting.
The question – submitted in French – is the first one ever asked at the Council in a foreign language. It calls on the Leader of the Council to invite the new French President to the area in a bid to promote tourism.
Cllr Hodgkinson (Churn Valley) told us that the council meetings needed variety to create interest, “As the Council meeting falls within the week of Bastille Day and on the same day as President Hollande visits London, I thought it would be different to ask a question in French. It’s about bringing a bit of the Entente Cordiale to the Cotswolds.”
“However, the question has a serious purpose as I’m calling on the Council Leader to join with me in inviting M Hollande to our area in order to promote tourism to a wider European public. The Cotswolds has much to offer and is sometimes forgotten about compared to the usual destinations of Stratford on Avon and Oxford.”
The full text of the question is as follows:
Question from Cllr Paul Hodgkinson to Cllr Lynden Stowe:
“Cette semaine, nos voisins de France fêtent la prise de la Bastille – le jour où ils se sont débarrassés d’une élite arrogante, et plus dans le coup. Cela arrive juste après l’élection du nouveau président, François Hollande.
Le chef du Conseil se joindra-t-il à moi pour inviter le président de la France à venir visiter les Cotswolds et fera-t-il tout son possible pour accueillir les touristes de tous nos voisins européens dans notre merveilleuse région des Cotswolds ? Que fait-il pour accueillir ces touristes? Voit-il le tourisme comme une autre occasion pour le secteur du commerce?”
“This week our neighbours France celebrate Bastille Day – the day in which they rid themselves of an arrogant, out of touch ruling elite. This comes hard on the heels of the election of new president Francois Hollande.
Will the Leader of the Council join me in inviting the President to visit the Cotswolds and will he do everything possible to welcome tourists from all of our European neighbours to our wonderful area? What is he doing to welcome those tourists? Does he see tourism as another opportunity for business?”
Update 10 July: The Leader of the Council rejected Cllr Hodgkinson’s suggestion saying “No I won’t be joining you in inviting the President of France to visit the Cotswolds.”
Cllr Hodgkinson said he was disappointed by the negative response but added, “C’est la vie!”