TOWN leaders are looking at re-launching a youth council in a move which could re-ignite the town's twinning arrangement - and pave the way for young people to attend a German youth festival next year.

Under the proposal, Pontypool youths would have the opportunity to go to an annual twinning festival in Bretten, Germany, next summer.

Pontypool is twinned with three countries in Europe, Bretten in Germany, Condeixa in Portugal and Longjumeau in France.

The four towns take it in turns to hold a twinning conference and youth festival each year.

But Pontypool was unable to send any youths to attend this summer’s festivities in France due to lack of funding.

Figures show the twinning conference and youth festival held in Pontypool last year [2013] had cost more than £20,000, sparking a row which saw the community council pull out of any further funding for the cultural agreement.

Cllr Giles Davies, chairman at the time, branded the costs "unjustifiable". More recently, he hailed an EU-funded trip for young people, indicating it should replace other "outdated" arrangements. He said he would rather see disadvantaged youths benefit, than councillors.

Now, the community Council is hoping to re-launch its youth council - which would provide a platform for young people to be more central to the twinning arrangement.

Pontypool Community Council chairwoman Cllr Gaynor James said: “I would like to have half a dozen go over. It will be good.

“They represent our town and it’s good for them. It shows our responsibility for our twin town. When you can’t do it, it is really embarrassing. I’m determined to have that.”

Members of the youth council would be drawn from the wider Torfaen Young People’s Forum.

Pontypool Twinning Association chairman, Maurice Morgan, said re-launching the youth council was a “step in the right direction” but stressed that funding was also needed to send people overseas.

Mr Morgan said: “I applaud what the council are doing in re-invigorating the youth council and sending young people over there but it’s only a part of it.

“As a twinning town if we are to fulfil that there needs to be some funding.”

Pontypool Community Council is due to make a decision on the possibility of re-establishing the youth council at a meeting on October 22.