The Ukrainian town of Chernobyl has rejected a proposal to twin with Rochdale, a spokesman for Rochdale council confirmed to the Herald.

The town shot to fame in the mid 1980s when still located in the Soviet Union after a failed experiment by the soviet operators of the local nuclear power plant to see what would happen if they turned all the big switches as far to the right as they’d go resulted in the whole town glowing in the dark.

“We realise it was a controversial choice, but hey…radioactive waste…asbestos, Soviet misrule…Cyril Smith..Simon Danczuk…we had so much in common, ” explained the spokesman pointing out that the danger to health from asbestos pollution in the Spodden valley is so bad that the area is often referred to as “Rochdale’s Chernobyl”.

Commenting on the fact that following the accident the town of Chernobyl an area of around 1000 sq miles around the town were evacuated and remain to this day uninhabited the spokesman explained that this was in fact one of the main reasons behind the twinning decision.

“Ukraine wants to join the European union and we want to leave, so the last thing we need is thousands of little glow-in-the-dark two headed school children coming over here under the pretence of an exchange visit and demanding asylum,” he explained.

“Mind you if they did perhaps we could use them to help clear the Spodden valley – they’re all going to die of lung cancer anyway so it’s not going to make that much difference,” he said.

A spokesman for Chernobyl said “Rochdale and Chernobyl are a little too similar for students from here to really benefit from a cultural exchange visit. The towns look exactly the same!”