The union of neighborhood committees had questioned the candidates for the last municipal elections on the possibility of dividing Toulouse into districts. La Dépêche asked its president, Guillaume Drijard, why. He believes that this could promote local democracy.
The division of Toulouse into districts, such as Paris, Lyon and Marseille, is “a superficial question. There is no citizen or political demand on it”, explained Jean-Luc Moudenc, answering our questions (La Dépêche du Midi of January 19, 2022). The Union of neighborhood committees (UCQ) of Toulouse had however asked this question to the candidates in the recent municipal elections of Toulouse.
Why should Toulouse examine the possibility of being divided into arrondissements?
On the occasion of the municipal elections, the UCQ questioned all the candidates with a certain number of proposals which were made to them, such as the creation of a working group with the deputies concerned to modify the PLM law of 1982, which governs the principle of the arrondissements in Paris, Lyon and Marseille. The municipality of Toulouse has an area greater than that of Parties, which has 20 arrondissements, and Lyon (9 arrondissements), with a population that joins that of Lyon. Toulouse’s population density is also higher than that of Marseille, which has 16 arrondissements.
What would that actually change?
This could energize work at neighborhood level, grouped into boroughs. The creation of boroughs, which could be the six existing geographic sectors. ask to increase the number of local elected officials, borough councillors, elected directly by citizens, in addition to elected municipal officials. This will make it possible to clearly separate what comes under the budget of the municipal council, therefore central management, and what comes under the boroughs, local management.
Wouldn’t that complicate the territorial mille-feuille a little more, with in particular the election by direct suffrage compatible for elected metropolitan officials?
Apart from the deputy mayors of Toulouse, whose salaries allow them to devote themselves to their local mission, the other elected officials are in fact part-time elected officials, who have to share their jobs and their municipal duties, which are sometimes very heavy when they have specific delegations or when they are district mayors. Adding borough elected officials will enable this local local work to be carried out. This would not change the fact that the metropolitan councilors are delirious by direct universal suffrage. The district level improves the link between elected officials and citizens and promotes local management. Afterwards, this can also lead to more political diversity, with elected officials of different colors depending on the boroughs. When we compare to Paris, Lyon or Marseille, the question arises in any case. Moreover, a profound reform of municipal services is already underway, with directors by geographical sector. The UCQ questioned the candidates for the next legislative elections in the Toulouse constituencies on this question.