Angeac-Charente: the lost school of the Republic

120,000 euros for restoration

“Imagine, a school that closes is a huge less attraction for a village! These are jobs that are disappearing, children who no longer have the pleasure of going to their local school, the ones where you can walk. In retrospect, we shouldn’t be surprised to see the countryside empty of its population. You don’t have to come cry. » The words of Christian Dufront resound like a cry from the heart, he who was mayor of Angeac-Charente from 2008 to 2020. For this retired engineer, the closure of the school is a political anomaly.

Especially since the major works, which were carried out under his mandate, took up a significant part of the budget for the restoration of the building. This is a misunderstanding: “We spent almost 120,000 euros, partly subsidized by the Region and the Department, who saw the usefulness of such public spendinghe continues. We have even redecorated the cafeteria. The school has become a wonderful resource, functional and welcoming. When I see it close like this, I tear myself to pieces. »

In retrospect, we shouldn’t be surprised to see the countryside empty of its population. You don’t have to come cry.

Christian Dufront, Mayor of Angeac-Charente from 2008 to 2020.

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The approximately fifteen children of the school are therefore divided between the two other institutions of the Intermunicipal Pedagogical Grouping (RPI) of which Angeac belonged. Bouteville welcomes kindergarten and CP, Bonneuil levels from CE1 to CM2. From the top of the rectorate of Poitiers, the astonishment is confessed in half a word. “We are used to the opposite case”indicate the services. Since the decision of Jean-Michel Blanquer, former Minister of National Education, no class closures have been allowed in rural areas in primary schools without the mayor’s approval. There it is the town hall that wished it. Our role is not to interfere in this decision, but to support the area and redraw the school map in a department that has 370 fewer students compared to the start of the 2021 school year.

The town hall owns the walls and plays its full part, but it will be hard to go back. “A school that will eventually reopen, given the current situation and the costs borne by elected officials, is unprecedented”notes the rectorate.

Philippe Pastier, the outgoing mayor.

Philippe Pastier, the outgoing mayor.

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So what happened? Hard to say. The elected mayor has resigned, on the basis of the closure, and has thrown his council into disarray (see opposite). When asked, he declined to comment on his decision. Eric Rambaud, the first deputy to act now, vintner, has other fish to fry, but shared these few words in our columns last May: “I think he underestimated the workload it represented”.

We will vote this Sunday to re-elect three councilors

The surprise resignation of Mayor Philippe Pastier, announced last April and – effective since June 22 – forces the 140 voters in the city to go to the polls again this Sunday, September 18. Because this defection came on top of the resignation of municipal councilor Christian Dufront on June 1, 2021 and the death of Nadine Heulin on November 4, 2021. So there are three new councilors who will be appointed next Sunday, on the occasion of a unanimous vote on two rounds. Four people have applied to the prefecture. They are Lionel Traquet, Béatrice Fermon, Angélique Blanchard and Laurent Granger Joly de Boissel. Only three are chosen. If necessary, a second round is scheduled for Sunday 25 September. When the city council is done, it is left to elect the mayor. Not necessarily the easiest. Last May, the first deputy Eric Rambaud indicated that he had questioned all councilors and that no one wanted to become mayor, because they are all still active. Let’s hope the three future new elected officials will have more time…

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