Letter from Southampton City Council
I am not sure whether Southampton City Council's
experience of the TACIS City Twinning Programme is directly relevant
in the context of your letter of 6 April 1998 which refers specifically
to "environmental aspects" of the TACIS programme, as
our project was transport related. However collaboration in this
field has led to our being invited to join a Life-Third Countries
bid which is environment-related and to one of our higher education
bodies being involved in a Know-How funded environment programme.
I will therefore supply the information requested and leave it
to you to decide whether or not to use it.
Our TACIS programme was highly successful and
demonstrates how much can be achieved for a relatively low level
of investment. The success of the programme can be attributed
to the "city-to-city" nature of the relationship; the
support and involvement of elected representatives on both sides
and the fact that finances were managed by the EU partner authority.
Our project focused on empowering the Russian managers and giving
them the information, training and confidence necessary to allow
them to decide what measures to take to make their services sustainable
over the longer term. The training programme was developed after
a pre-project start site visit and discussion of priority needs.
It was reviewed and adjusted at the end of an initial six-week
period. A further strength was that the Russian Managers were
given a "warts and all" exposure to our urban transport
programme which allowed them to see the problems we were experiencing
as well as our successes. Our programme was realistic in its objectives
and sought to provide a sustainable system without any injection
of new finances for infrastructure needs.
European Service Manager
28 April 1998