MARIGOT--The platform of demands of Union du Peuple Travailleurs St. Martinois, Soualiga United Collective, Soualiga Grassroots Movement and Conféderation Générale des Travailleurs de Guadeloupe (CGTG) of Friday, September 3, fall within the competence of both the State and the Collectivité. Some of them are complementary and fall within the scope of a joint action regularly dealt with by the services of the respective institutions. Neither the Préfet nor the President of the Collectivité is responsible for examining private matters.
For his part, Préfet Serge Gouteyron, after having read the platform of demands of the collectives, said that among the subjects addressed by the latter, several (mandatory vaccination for certain professions, definition of health protocols within public establishments, transfer of environmental competence, etc.) are based on legislative and regulatory provisions that cannot be adapted locally. Questions raised by the collectives relating to the regional hospital grouping fall within the competence of the hospitals’ joint bodies.
Gouteyron also pointed out that the subject of training for young and not-so-young St. Martiners is the subject of 7.2 million euros of funding from the State, and 6.8 million euros from the Collectivité (14 million euros in total) as part of the skills investment plan covering the period 2019 -2022.
The Collectivité, for its part, has set up a forward-looking management of jobs and territorial skills initiative to anticipate and target the training needs of the people of St. Martin adapted to the characteristics of the territory. This approach will be completed by the “Cadres Avenir” system in the coming weeks. This will involve the setting up of working bodies in which the trade unions representing the Collectivité will naturally be involved.
In addition, 3.2 million euros have been earmarked by the Collectivité for the emergency plan, which provides, by January 2022, for the implementation of paid training courses (basic training and training leading to qualifications and diplomas) for young and not-so-young people. These trainings will concern 456 job seekers.
Eco-site access cost
On the question of the cost of access to the public landfill for individuals and professionals, President Daniel Gibbs indicated that the Grande-Caye Eco-site is reserved for the Collectivité and professionals.
Private individuals have free-of-charge access to the Galisbay waste disposal centre which is dedicated to them. Other waste collection centres will be opened in the coming months to provide better coverage of the island.
Gibbs specified that the cost of access for professionals to the treatment of waste in St. Martin is the lowest of the Antillean basin: approximately 85 euros per ton, all waste mixed.
For example, the rate is 165 euros per ton in St. Barths, 85 euros per ton in the storage centre of Sainte-Rose (Guadeloupe) which receives five times more waste than in St. Martin (scale effect), to which is added a general tax on polluting activities of 54 euros per ton, as in the other overseas departments. This tax does not exist in St. Martin. It should be remembered that the Collectivité is one of the few communities in France to carry out daily collection of household waste.
On implementation of financial aid for low income and unemployed people
Revenu Solidarité Active (RSA), is a common law system financed by the Collectivité which benefits nearly 2,000 people in the territory. People over 65 years old with low income are entitled to national solidarity through the “minimum old age pension”.
Some citizens are not familiar with the existing aid systems and therefore do not benefit from the rights they could legally and legitimately claim. To deal with this “non-recourse to rights”, the Collectivité has committed itself, in recent months, to reinforcing its information and proximity actions. This effort will be further strengthened.
Concerning the neighbourhood councils and consideration of the neighbourhood councils’ representatives who must be consulted in certain areas according to the organic law, their management is ensured by the “participative democracy and neighbourhood councils department” of the Collectivité.
The district council is a source of proposals to the local authority. It must issue mandatory opinions on issues submitted to it by the Territorial Council, the Executive Council of the Collectivité or the State representative.
The department of participatory democracy is therefore working on drafting rules of procedure aimed at providing a better framework and structure for the consultative function of these neighbourhood councils. It will be presented to the Executive Council in the next few weeks.
At the same time, the Collectivité is committed to supporting the development of the skills of the agents assigned to the neighbourhood councils and to increasing their number. Finally, the Collectivité is working on the implementation of additional means, notably in terms of premises, to enable them to function properly.
‘50 pas Géometriques’
The Collectivité has taken the initiative to facilitate the regularisation of individual situations related to the acquisition of land located in the so-called “50 geometric steps” zone, in conjunction with the State’s property department. A specific mechanism for accelerating property transfers and substantially reducing the related cost is in the process of being implemented. Gouteyron is committed to supporting the work of the Collectivité so that this mechanism can be submitted to the Territorial Council by the end of 2021.
Gouteyron also proposes, as mentioned during the discussion on the natural risks prevention plan PPRN 2021, to present, before the end of 2021 at the latest, a specific aid scheme for people with low incomes, to make their homes safe. It will also develop partnerships with local associations for this same purpose.