Abolition of territorial councils, transfer of skills, financing: the reform of the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolis advocated by Emmanuel Macron as part of the “Marseille en grand” plan arrives at the National Assembly on Monday. Led by LR Martine Vassal, the Métropole AMP, which brings together six territories and 92 municipalities, is the largest in France and has 1.86 million inhabitants, nearly half of whom live in Marseille.
By presenting his plan to make up for the delays in Marseille in terms of accommodation, transport, etc., at the beginning of September, the President of the Republic announced the dysfunctions of the metropolis and clearly conditioned his aid to its reform. “We must finance to unblock the situation, but on condition that we solve the problems of organization and governance. Otherwise, I don’t put any more gasoline in the system, ”he warned.
Three billion euros in debt
At the heart of the debate: the question of the transfer of powers from the metropolis to the municipalities, the future of the territorial councils, an intermediate level, the representativeness of Marseille in the governance of the metropolis or the mode of financing of the community and of the communes.
If the principle of a reform of the metropolis, for its lack of strategy by the regional chamber of accounts and debt of three billion euros, is widely shared by elected officials, its outlines are not unanimous. Some cities including Marseille are calling for more skills and representativeness while others, smaller, lean for continuity. However, the state warned, there is no question of tailor-made reform.
After several visits to Marseille, Jacqueline Gourault, Minister responsible for relations with local authorities, received the parliamentarians concerned one last time on Thursday to try to secure a consensus on the reform before the examination in session of Article 56 of the 3DS decentralization law. A first, less developed version of the text was already adopted by the Senate in July.
The text of the amendment is set for the purpose of “simplifying governance”, “restoring local skills to municipalities which can be more effectively implemented at their level and setting up a rebalancing process. financial relations between the metropolis and the member municipalities ”. It provides for the abolition of territorial councils: “These bodies limit the capacity of the metropolitan council to carry out real metropolitan policies and increase the governance of the metropolis”, explains the text which provides for their abolition as of July 1, 2022.
New distribution of powers
In terms of the transfer of powers, the amendment provides for a new distribution between metropolitan France and municipalities which will come into force in 2023. Among the ten competent powers, the most important one concerns roads. It includes signage, sidewalks, street furniture, cleaning of roads as well as ancillary works, when these are not of metropolitan interest, such as specific public transport sites for example.
On the other hand, on the other hand, retains the collection of garbage which has earned him to be strongly garbage collectors in the fall, transformed into an ecological disaster by torrential rains and already castigated by the regional chamber of accounts for the cost of its service ” above the national average ”.
The amendment also provides for a transfer to certain municipalities of “promotion of tourism including the creation of tourist offices”, “actions to enhance the natural and landscape heritage”, with the exception of large regional sites and natural parks. Regarding financial relations between metropolitan France and municipalities, the regional chamber of accounts will issue an opinion, in particular on the level of the compensation allocations paid to the municipalities (which depends on the powers attributed) before September 1, 2022. This opinion will be debated within the council of the metropolis by November 1, 2022 at the latest.