Ariège: the department wishes to “remain master of its destiny” on energy

the essential
In the plenary session of Monday 20 March, the Departmental Council returned to its willingness to purchase electricity in the face of the challenges of the energy transition, but also to its categorical rejection of a school map project for the start of the 2023 school year.

During their plenary session on Monday, March 20, departmental elected officials addressed several burning issues: the climate balance, the school map project for the start of the 2023 school year, as well as departmental expertise in water management.

Towards an electricity purchasing policy

Faced with this energy cost issue, purchasing electricity has now become a priority for the department to pursue the energy transition and control its budget. “A good understanding of how the price is composed and the right time to buy is essential. We want to keep control of our destiny,” assures the president of the Departmental Council, Christine Téqui.

For this, the department offers several avenues. Both large-scale management in a pool with electricity suppliers, and internal management of the department itself, but which require cost control and one’s own choices. The department would also like to continue its commitment to energy production thanks to photovoltaic panels and heating networks.

No to the school map project

During the plenary session, two motions were also presented to the departmental elected officials. The first, on education, to recall the territory’s commitment to the “local school” and the categorical refusal of a school map project for the start of the 2023 school year.

This provision presented by the directorate of national education departmental services of Ariège (DSDEN) provides for the abolition of twelve first-level posts, which could lead to the closure of several schools, and three of the secondary ones.

“Today we are encountering difficulties in the education system, considering that it is the main pillar of attractiveness of our territory, assures the vice president of the departmental council, Alain Naudy. Proximity is the best service to be able to keep schools open even to 10-12 students. We’re told we have to lump everything together but no!”

Competence of the department on water management

The department therefore wishes to recall that it rejects the closure of classes and the suppression of places. Instead, the idea is to set up schools in all areas for quality assistance. “Every time we have a class closure, we will make introductory remarks”, indicates the president of the Department Council, before adding: “We must not forget that a closure is the families who no longer install. We want to bring schools closer to children and Not vice versa!”.

The department also wishes to ask the State very quickly for the competence of the local authorities in the quantitative management of water, in particular on the project of an adductor of the Touyre river to guarantee the filling of the Montbel basin. Because in the face of the disappearance of the general jurisdiction clause by the NOTRe law of August 7, 2015, local authorities can no longer claim project management.

A decision that was reaffirmed in the public report of the Court of Auditors published in March 2023, and which states very clearly that water policy no longer falls within the general competence of the departments and regions. “We will have to ask without further delay for a delegation of state competence to the department by writing a text”, concludes Christine Téqui firmly, thus appealing for the support of other communities.

For an energy transition

Engaged for several years in a policy of reducing its energy consumption, the department therefore wishes to continue its energy transition policy through energy saving and the development of renewable energies to which it leases a budget of 7 million euros until 2028, in addition as well as the thermal insulation of buildings, such as colleges, for a total budget of 34 million euros.

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