Four years after the “Grigny call”, suburban mayors want to share ideas from the field

Four years after their “Grigny call”, suburban mayors of different political stripes launched, Saturday October 16 in Paris, the Council national solutions to share ideas from the field.

This first edition focuses on education through sport. Install dojos in vacant premises at the foot of building bars, make school sports facilities accessible outside of school time: these are some of the solutions that these mayors who manage priority neighborhoods plan to offer dozens of residents on Saturday. ‘other elected officials, who came to look for good ideas for their municipality.

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At the origin of this movement: “the call of Grigny” launched in 2017 by a hundred mayors to defend working-class neighborhoods in the face of government budget cuts. After the disappointed hope of the Borloo plan, these elected officials, ranging from the French Communist Party (PCF) to the Republicans, continue their regular discussions and come to a conclusion: “The solutions that come from above, it no longer works in France”, summarizes Philippe Rio, Communist mayor of Grigny (Essonne), the poorest city in France. The chosen one qualifies however: “We are not in awe of the state. “

This “we” includes a small handful of mayors, who have become colleagues and even friends through calls in the press and videoconferences during confinement: Catherine Arenou, mayor various right (DVD) of Chanteloup-les-Vignes (Yvelines), Guillaume Delbar, DVD mayor of Roubaix (North), Benoît Jimenez, centrist mayor of Garges-lès-Gonesse (Val-d’Oise), Gilles Leproust, PCF mayor of Allonnes (Sarthe), and Philippe Rio. “We rebelled at the same time, we found common points”, explains Mme Arenou. During confinement, they trade weekly for “Infuse each other’s ideas”.

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1,000 new dojos for 2024

During a videoconference with the Minister of the City, Julien Denormandie (since gone to agriculture), they suggested the idea of ​​learning holiday camps funded by the State, local communities and town halls to fight against the dropout. “Julien Denormandie carried this proposal and obtained the arbitrations”, enthuses Mr. Leproust.

They want to share these “Local dynamics, which can be duplicated nationally”, resumes Mr. Rio, hence this National Council of Solutions, imagined a year ago on the occasion of a call to Jean Castex to better include working-class neighborhoods in the recovery plan.

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The first edition is not centered around sport for no reason: “What brings together the most people in our towns, in the evenings and at weekends, is sports practice”, underlines Mr. Leproust. One of the strong ideas: the “1,000 new dojos plan for 2024” aimed at installing these sports practice rooms in unused spaces. In Nanterre, in the Hauts-de-Seine, an associative room of 100 m2 is being rehabilitated for “Schoolchildren, neighborhood mothers, young judokas at the end of school”, explains Sébastien Nolesini, general manager of the French Judo Federation, partner of this first edition.

Thursday, Emmanuel Macron announced the funding by the State of 5,000 sports facilities for a total of 200 million euros, including 1,000 dojos in this perspective of rehabilitation, as the federation had proposed to the government. These announcements go “Beyond our hopes” welcomes Guillaume Delbar, the city councilor of Roubaix. “We will see in use”, tempers Mr. Leproust, used to projects that do not find their target on the ground.

These mayors also intend to launch the “Olympic cities”, projects designed on the model of educational cities, flagship measure of the Borloo plan finally validated by the government. One of the solutions is to open the sports infrastructures of schools, colleges and high schools, outside of school time. “It seems obvious, notes Catherine Arenou, except that it is absolutely impossible at present ”.

The World with AFP

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