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Citizen participation in Bordeaux: the opposition denounces "a spectacular democratic decline"


Opposition city councilor Fabien Robert (MoDem) accuses environmentalists of being "afraid of citizen participation" and of acting without consultation, "under the guise of a climate emergency".

Le Figaro Bordeaux

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Where is participatory democracy in Bordeaux since the election of Pierre Hurmic in 2020?

Environmentalists talk about it a lot, but do little

,” laments Fabien Robert, opposition municipal councilor (MoDem) within the Bordeaux Ensemble group.

This Monday, the elected official therefore presented a report and concrete proposals for a "

big bang of the Bordeaux districts


Measures which, mid-term, have all the attributes of the beginning of an electoral program.

Citing pell-mell the various changes in the direction of traffic, the extinction of part of the nocturnal public lighting and the new pricing for school catering, Fabien Robert believes that "under the guise of a climate emergency, decisions that

impact strongly our daily life are taken after informing the inhabitants, at best, but without real prior consultation


Read alsoParking in Bordeaux: the city wants to “reshare public space”

Actions however assumed by Pierre Hurmic, the mayor of Bordeaux, who welcomes the new pricing which allows "

each parent to now pay for school catering and lunchtime support as close as possible to their income

", avoiding "

effects unfair thresholds


In addition, the city councilor regularly evokes the example of the boulevards, of which a lane dedicated to bicycles and buses has been made permanent in 2021. Faced with criticisms of having acted "like

the hussar

", the elected representative judges that if he had carried out a consultation, "

in two years, the track would still not have been made


During his greetings to the press, the ecologist nevertheless affirmed Bordeaux's ambition to become "

a facilitating city


support citizens' initiatives in each public policy

”, with “

the creation of a residents' participation fund

” and “

the provision of engineering to support citizens' initiatives


"Attacks that do not lack salt"

In the file made public on Monday, the opposition group denounces real "

abuse of power

" by the municipality, including "

the appearance of multiple one-way streets, without any prior consultation

", cours de la Somme, rue de Bègles or rue de Pessac.

For this last case, set up on February 13, the town hall of Bordeaux specifies that "

this traffic plan is an experiment

" and that "

after a phase of consultation with the inhabitants and analysis of the effects, a decision will be taken to maintain or amend this test period


The objective put forward by the municipality is "

to improve and secure traffic for all modes of travel

on this axis.

From April to June, a consultation phase will also be open.

Read alsoBordeaux, second most congested city in France according to a ranking

Considering for their part that the climate emergency "

crushes the nuances and the divergences

", the elected representatives of the right and the center asked in January for the creation of a mission of information and evaluation of the participative bodies and advisory committees of the city ​​of Bordeaux.

A request adopted unanimously at the last city council, which almost all opponents, right and left, boycotted.

Bordeaux Ensemble now claims the presidency of this commission.

At the municipal council on April 4, the approach of the great citizen dialogue will be presented.

Let's hope that, this time, the right-wing opposition will be present to discuss it

", is it ironic in the entourage of the mayor of Bordeaux, judging that "

the right-wing opposition's attacks on democracy are not lacking in salt

”, because their boycott of the last council would demonstrate “

the little importance they place on the mandate entrusted by the people of Bordeaux


Make an “opposable democratic contract”

Some criticisms of Bordeaux Ensemble are however substantiated.

Wishing to "


" the lack of responsiveness of the city's elected officials, the opposition group used eight assumed names to contact the neighborhood mayors in order to submit a question of proximity to them.

Four messages went unanswered, three received a response the same day (including two from the deputy mayor himself) and another received an administrative response five weeks later.

To overcome these different situations and develop consultation, Bordeaux Ensemble proposes the election by universal suffrage of the members of the district councils, the organization of a local referendum to adopt a new division of the districts, the creation of new district town halls and the co-construction of an "

opposable democratic contract

", to allow Bordeaux residents to seize the municipal mediator if a project is carried out without consultation.

Read alsoIn Bordeaux, “street prayers” at the heart of a disagreement between the town hall and the Grand Parc mosque

The town hall of Bordeaux, for its part, is highlighting various actions carried out in favor of participatory democracy, such as the establishment of a "citizen questioning" system


in January, allowing petitions with more than 4,000 signatures to be debated in the municipal council within three months.

In addition, on urban development, consultations are regularly held, as for the evolution of paid parking.

When questioned, the inhabitants of certain districts decided to set up regulated parking in certain districts, but not in others.

Finally, while Bordeaux Ensemble criticizes ecologists for having abandoned their promise to "

revitalize and reinvent Mériadeck

», a public consultation was conducted by the city in February and work should begin by the end of the year.

Source: lefigaro

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