The Metropolis of Lyon voted this Monday for additional aid to the municipalities. If these aids have not extinguished the rebellion of certain mayors, they nevertheless show the will of the environmentalist majority to ease tensions.
On Monday January 24, the council of the Métropole de Lyon voted its initial budget for 2022. Quite classically, the majority supported its executive and the right-wing and center opposition opposed or abstained. Both for disagreements over the direction of certain investments or the increase in operating expenses and for reasons of pure political posturing.
Far from the passes of arms of the year 2021 with threats of secession or press conferences in the middle of a council meeting, two subjects have however garnered a broader consensus. They concerned financial aid schemes for municipalities. They represent a necessity for municipalities in the Lyon metropolis for which the financing of equipment and public services is a headache. They are also a more political and public message sent to the municipalities of a Metropolis of Lyon which wants to listen to them.
A new aid scheme for municipalities in the Lyon metropolitan area for public services
The first device is a novelty. An envelope of 10 million euros per year will be released for the municipalities. It is in addition to the investment expenditures already provided for in the mandate plan of the ecological majority. It should allow the Metropolis of Lyon to participate in the financing of equipment and public services for the municipalities of the territory. This aid scheme is therefore a kind of extension to participate in the financing of schools, gymnasiums or the energy renovation of buildings.
It is modeled on the Local Investment Support Endowment (DSIL), an aid system paid by the State. Like her, the metropolitan system aims to support municipalities whose changing demographics require the construction or development of public facilities and housing. The municipalities will have to apply for and finance part of the projects submitted to the Métropole de Lyon in order to be able to claim this financial support (capped at 1 million euros for a project with a floor of 20,000 euros).
The opposition to Bruno Bernard claims victory and takes the money
Opposition to this new aid scheme for municipalities was rather minimal. At worst, the opposition saw a victory on its part snatched from Bruno Bernard and his majority. Concerns remain, however, about the number and choice of projects selected with regard to an amount that may seem derisory for a territory of 59 municipalities.
“Our group has been asking for it for a long time. The eligibility criteria seem coherent but you could possibly double the envelope. And you may receive a lot of files. How are you going to choose between all the projects? Will we be aware of all the projects submitted and how can we control their selection? »
Pascal David, mayor of Quincieux and metropolitan councilor of the Val de Saône within the centre-right opposition group Synergies Avenir
For Philippe Cochet, LR mayor of Caluire-et-Cuire and metropolitan councilor for the Plateau Nord sector, the executive would try to cross the criteria to impose his vision of the development of the territory.
“We got this envelope added to the mandate plan. The amount is small but we will fight for it to increase. We find your authoritarian drift which leads you to create a call for projects when you could have let the municipalities submit their files over the water. Through the criteria, the message sent to the municipalities is clear: either you densify and we help you, or you refuse and you will get nothing”.
Despite everything, the creation of this annual envelope for the municipalities of the metropolis of Lyon received 142 votes in favor out of the 142 issued.
Community solidarity grant: the Métropole de Lyon sets criteria… to comply with the law
The Council of the Metropolis of Lyon has also deliberated on a second aid system for municipalities. This is not a creation of the metropolitan executive but pre-existing. it’s about the Community Solidarity Endowment (DSC). Clearly, financial aid allocated to municipalities by the intermunicipal establishment to which they belong and normally aimed at reducing resource resources.
Already in place, it was around 27 million euros in 2019 and had been upgraded by David Kimelfeld in 2020. According to what criteria was this envelope given? Opaque according to the environmentalist executive who pointed to strong returns between certain municipalities in the Val de Saône receiving a larger per capita allocation than other more popular municipalities in the territory.
However, the 2020 finance law obliges the intermunicipalities and the Métropole de Lyon to specify these award criteria. With this deliberation, Bruno Bernard and his majority are therefore only respecting the law.
As provided by law, certain criteria are mandatory: the level of income of the inhabitants of the municipality and the resources of the latter. They must account for at least 35% of the distribution of the envelope. The Métropole de Lyon has decided to set this share at 50%. The remaining 50% of the envelope will be subject to other more oriented and political criteria:
- the stock and flow of social housing in the municipality (for 5%),
- the number of RSA recipients in the municipality (for 20%),
- the presence and capacity of structures welcoming adults in difficulty (for 10%),
- the presence and share of surface areas owned perimeter for the protection and enhancement of peri-urban natural and agricultural spaces (PENAP) (for 5%)
- participation in economic development (for 10%)
A carrot walk that goes rather well in the Metropolis of Lyon
The implementation of these calculation criteria have direct consequences. Of the 59 municipalities of the Metropolis of Lyon, 37 municipalities see their allocation claimed compared to that received in 2021 and 22 see it increase. A majority of municipalities therefore have everything to lose. However, the deliberation was adopted by a large majority of more than two thirds (109 votes for).
It must be said that Bruno Bernard did not turn off the tap. The municipalities for which the implementation of these criteria imposes a financial loss see their amount paid in 2021 maintained until 2026. That is to say the end of the current mandate. Clearly, the effect of the new criteria will not be felt for them until the next term at worst. However, the amount paid to them may not be less than that paid under the 2018 DSC. It may also increase if these municipalities adopt their situation with regard to these new criteria. A way of trying to make them walk on carrots thanks to an increase of 4 million euros in this DSC (out of a total envelope of 31 million).
This large majority is also the result of a consultation which seems for once to have been recognized by the municipalities. Some opponents have praised the merits of the working group’s exchanges led by the executive with municipalities and mayors through the advisory bodies that are the territorial conferences of mayors and the metropolitan conference of mayors.
Max Vincent, mayor of Limonest and member of the Synergies Avenir group, implicitly acknowledged listening on the part of the Métropole de Lyon:
“In the metropolitan conference, the mayors told you that the immediate application of the criteria would be faced with a budgetary wall in certain municipalities. You have offered us an option with these new criteria or another proposing to maintain in 2022 the same DSC as in 2021 and to still work on new criteria. We will vote in favor of this deliberation validating the first option if the working group will continue to evaluate the criteria over time and will consider ceiling or floor allocations.
The right-wing opposition group of Philippe Cochet and Alexandre Vincendet did not speak. Joining his own to that of Max Vincent and Synergies Avenir. Proof of relative good agreement on this subject.
Test your knowledge: