31 March, 2012

The twinning of Angers with Austin should trigger a new realism

Credit pictures : Austin city website
Through the twinning with the Us town of Austin voted on March 26th by the Angers municipal council, the city could give birth to a new ambition, and maybe, a new realism. For a long time, the international relations of Angers were directed to cities of the same size and in Europe, or cities of developping countries like Bamako, all concluded almost 30 years ago, the twinning policy of the city could follow a new direction. 

After an agreement with Yantaï, a Chinese port city of 6 millions inhabitants, but distant of almost 9 000 km which apparently, didn't brought, up to now, a lot of results, Angers is turning in 2012 toward Austin, just a litlle bit nearer (8000 km) but closer in cultural terms and bearer of hopes in the economic field. "The Texas is the 9th economic power in the world", points uout Daniel Loiseau, in charge of economy at Angers Loire Métropole. Except culture, till now, no specificic field of economic exchanges have been identified.

Nevertheless, the start of that new cooperation could trigger more ambition of the city, a little bit centred about itself. All the transformations along the way or to come must enlarge new outlets to the local economy in search of growth and jobs. Angers, for a long time worried by solidarity links in which the city felt itself above others, is now turning toward another city of a very different scale.

30 March, 2012

Angers stance against the Sunday openings "takes a toll"

As it was predicted a few weeks ago, in order to take off in good conditions, Atoll will open as soon as the first Sunday of its existence. Even if that Sunday is Easter day. The giant commercial park is not yet opened and there is already a debate which caracterizes perfectly the analysis of the weekly English magazine The Economist which has just titled about France in its latest issue "France's future : a country in denial". 

Credit pictures Angers Loire Métropole
On one side, Angers Loire Métropole, the territorial authority in charge of the economic development of Angers and surroundings, expresses its pride through an article "Atoll inaugurates a new generation of commercial park" adding "this complex asserts itself as the window of a territory anchored in modernity". but on the other side, at the same time, an Angers trade union expressed, the same day, an unfavourable recommendation about the opening of Atoll on Sunday 8, which is in the middle of a three days weekend.

How will react Angers Loire Métropole this time?A few months ago, the authority published a negative stance about the opening on Sundays mornings of the food department of an Angers superstore, launching an appeal to French hypermakets to respect Sundays as a specificity of French culture and the danger of opening the superstores on that day because of the  balance with retail trade...

29 March, 2012

Maine banks project, Angers decision-makers choosed the "Greater"

The vote of the Angers municipal council for the team or architects entrusted to monitor the new development of the Maine river banks should confirm the choice already made - secretly on March 22nd - by a "grand jury" constitued by nine representatives, eight technicians and three experts. And their choice is the Grether team.

The decision will be submitted for a formal approval by inhabitants on April 2nd at the Le Quai theatre and immediately after by the town hall council itself, unless a a dramatic turn of events. If the content of the project was evidently the first reason of an approbation, the possibility to implement it gradually (on 20 or 30 years) has also been considered. But did Angers city have another choice?

A letter, recently published by Frédéric Beatse, the mayor, with the 2012 budget document sent to all Angers decision-makers, points out the "crisis context and a total uncertainty for territorial authorities" about the message of concern regarding their finances. "

I appeal to a startle of the French state about the necessity to get from it a clear and lasting several years contract on national allocations", he wrote. But does the state have itself a clear view of its financial evolution? The staggering of the Maine banks development is a wise scenario, especially because the costs of the Grether project have not yet been published.

28 March, 2012

An Angers exhibition on capitalism and religion causes emotion

The Angers Artothèque displays presently an exhibition which causes a stir among some denomi-national communities of the city. The exhibition, entitled in French "Ravissements",  is a pun because in that language the word "Ravissements" means both rapture and abduction. 

The initiative stages works of Tarrop & Glabel, a group of artists who aims to challenge the most widespread social values in today's world as capitalism and religion, both "omnipotent since the end of the ideologies". And that's where the shoe pinches... The Angers medias reported that some inhabitants having religious opinions thought themselves offended and a philosophical question was raised : does art need to be provoking and shoking to trigger a dialog? A candidate to the next legislative polls castigated the exhibition saying it was "blasphemous".

That fact indicates that even in a medium midwestern town like Angers, religion is spreading more and more in the public space (as after tragic events in Southern France demonstrated it nation wide). That may raises questions for people who believe that religions must be tolerant and partners of the society.

27 March, 2012

The mayor expands the budget responsabilities and reduces the political risks

The fact was almost unnoticed in Angers medias on March 27th but it may have some importance about the climate the new mayor of Angers, Frédéric Beatse, wishes to create and about the difficult economic times the city may face in the years to come. Mr Beatse ste up on Monday a new commission in charge of the budget. If he will preside it, his deputy-president will be a member of the opposition group, Daniel Dimicoli.

Such an approach looks to the nomination, by the président of the French republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, of members of his opposition to the Finances commission of the National Assembly and at the Cour des comptes. Recently, the new left majority at the Senate, had nominated a member of the right minority to the head of an important commission. So, from both sides, and at different levels, attempts are visible to set-up a shared process about the handling of public matters.

And the financial field could be an opportunity to start because the majority side at town hall doesn't wish to collect all the critics from the inhabitants for a management of the city made much more complicated because of the scarcity of fiscal resources. The strictness is ahead. Political unity could be helpful to make swallowed.

26 March, 2012

Lionel waited as the Messiah : the Angers Sco got a scoop

After the club was on the headlines of the local newspapers several months ago because of the financial misconduct of his former president, the Angers Sco is (briefly?) on the frontpages of the French press and on the web on March the 26th because of a new recruit : Lionel Messi! 

The medias surfered, only for a while, on that magical name : 20 minutes, Le Nouvel Observateur ("Angers recruits Lionel Messi"), Le Parisien ("Lionel Messi, at Angers in the 2nd League") and even Le Figaro ("Lionel Messie towards Angers") created the illusion. The Lionel Messi waited by the Angers soccer club would be native from Cameroon what doesn't not prejudge of his quality (he plays presently near Toulouse). 

That country of Western Africa (where French and English are both official languages) gave birth to famous and popular soccer players like Roger Milla (in French) alias Roger Miller (in English). The comparison with the Argentinian triple golden ball must be quite difficult but Lionel Messi, the  young (16 or 17 years old), must be used to the comparison. If Lionel is not yet hired by the Sco, it could be good for the club to get him in next year. What a showing! What a goal!

25 March, 2012

The Monplaisir market after the hour changed

Credit Wikipedia : the place of the market
Angers city has maybe a specific open-air market throughout Western France. This market, which takes place in the Monplaisir district every Sunday morning, is higly cosmopolitan and probably the most attended of the town. But, (was it because of the summer hour which changed the night before?) on the first Sunday following the Toulouse and Montauban events in which seven persons where murdered by a fanaticized (and probably crazy) young man claiming to be a representative of Islam, the Monplaisir market attracted mainly the immigrant inhabitants the district hosts.

As during other Sunday mornings, the terraces of the cafés around the Europe square gathered members of the Northern Africa community, the main foreign population of Monplaisir and maybe in Angers. Apparently, talkings and attitudes were not very different of what they look to be, previously to the events (The Jewish community of the city expressed its emotion after the drama during a collective meditation, with the prefet of Maine-et-Loire in front of city hall on Tuesday).

The market enables passers-by to get a glimpse on some people, men and women, who display, by their clothing (young women wearing black veils and gloves - not because of the cold - and very young girls also veiled) or their occupations (the collection of funds for a project of mosque in another town because "the State doesn't help us", he said) the importance religion has in their life and, according to those behaviours, should have in everybody's life.

24 March, 2012

The US embassy in France bets on culture for relationship between Angers and Austin

US ambassador Charles H. Rivkin
The US ambassador in France, Charles H. Rivkin, made a visit in Angers on March the 23rd. That trip, his first trip in Maine-et-Loire, comes during a period which sees the Angers city trying to enhance its relationship with Austin, the state capital of Texas. The speech he delivered in the English Language Library in Angers has apparently not revealed important or next breakthrough for the future of the contacts between Angers and city. 
Saint-Edward University

According to the local medias, the ambassador's speech was "polite" (i.e. diplomatic) : he praised the balance in Angers of "tradition and modernity" and "economic development and environment protection". Nevertheless, he let foresee the culture could be a leverage for future exchanges between the two cities. If music was on the first place recently (an Angers delegation stayed in Austin for a music festival dedicated to professionnals), universities exchanges could be more continuous every year thanks to cooperation between the Université catholique de l'Ouest and Saint-Edward university which opened a few months ago a department in Angers and planned to open a campus in a neighbouring village.

But if Angers want to bet on culture to develop links and business with Austin, the city which already host an English Library will have to increase the place of that language in local life what could be, with the new brand "Angers Loire Valley" an original positioning at the level of the whole France.

23 March, 2012

The winner of the Maine banks reconquest project will be chosen on April 2nd

Credit Angers city
The time for the choice is coming. On April 2nd, Angers will elect the new face the banks of the Maine river will have few by few along the next 15 or 20 years... but for at least a century. If there is always matters of criticism against the choice about to be made, it would be unfair to criticize town hall about the method of the choice : the reflection took two years and had widely associated Angers inhabitants. 

An that way will continue till the end : a public return of the public consultation will be hosted by Le Quai theatre before the final et formal decision which falls to the city council. The method is also wise. If it would be risky to town hall to diverge from the public choice, in following that one, the Angers representatives reduce their exposure to criticism and take a popular asset for the next municipal polls to come in 2014.

The Grether project could be the winner of the competition. It was the most qualified, according to the Angers Loire Métropole Development Council, to reunify the city around its river and to achieve a mutual promotion of the river by the city as the city by the river.

22 March, 2012

Changes will come soon in the collection of wastes in Angers

The collection of wastes will change in Angers from April 2nd. These changes regard the collection of households wastes as well as the collection of plastic packagings. That evolution is due to the increase of the quantities of sorted wastes enlarged to plastics. Apparently, the rythm of the collections is not disminished as it was the case a few years ago. Nevertheless the changes are experimental : as 82 others towns, Angers will try new instructions. The aim of the test is to check the relevance of the extension to all plastic packaging of the sorting. Till now, only bottles were sorted. But, from January 1st, all plastic packagings followed the same way and that is the origin of the increase.

In order to inform Angers inhabitants about the new policy of sorting, townhall has opened a website with a video game. All the Angers streets have been classified with the days and the schedules of the collections of household wastes and recyclable waste. But all will depend on the civism of the users. Townhall assures it will not increase the costs of the collection, and so the taxes paid by inhabitants to finance the service. The most disturbing will be, temporarily, the end of a unique day (Wednesday) for the collection of recyclabes wastes. That day will be different according to the districts.

21 March, 2012

Chocolate Show next Saturday in Angers

Chocolat Show, a wordplay because in French "chaud " means hot, will take place, for its 5th edition at Les Greniers Saint-Jean, next Saturday. From 10.00 am to 07.00 pm, a chocolate-flavoured village will host craftsmen coming from Angers and from the Loire valley in order to promote chocolate consumption among the Angers public. The period is important for the chocolate trade because Eastern is coming up and it's the most important opportunity (more than New Year) to eat, under numerous ways, chocolate. 

The Angers inhabitants are found of that fair. In 2011, more than 2 500 visitors came to look and taste what pastry chefs, chocolate makers and cookers designed about the uses of chocolate. For example, a Angers cooker will display a new recipe : the devilfish with chocolate! Craftsmen will sculpt works in chocolate and a jury will choose the most remarkable piece.

Angers city counts a lot of chocolate shops La Petite Marquise, Petit Laurent, Benoit Chocolats and, chocolate markers like Guisabel The aim of the event is to collect funds for caritative purposes. (Credit pictures Chocolat Show)

20 March, 2012

Maine runners foreshadow the future face of the banks conversion

The banks of the Maine river in Angers are fare from being redeveloped but already attract a lot of runners eager to take benefit of the lenthening of day light with the arrival of springs. Often gathered by groups of three or four persons, these sportsmen or women talk (it's recommendable while they run) along the Maine banks. As many others Angers inhabitants, they will not be reluctant to a major change of the face of the place even if, during months, they will have to change their course.

These enthusiasts of jog will probably announce what will be, and will have to be, the Maine banks after their transformation : a place dedicated to sports and leisures, where people share hobbies. The runners express silently the purpose of the future banks : to be a new lung "transplanted" in Angers town. So nature will have to be the main attribute of the place : it will have to dominate the conception of the two banks of the river.

The river itself should be closer to the inhabitants and, in that way, to be more familiar. Presently strangled betwen an deafining and smoke-filled express way, the river will be more audible by the runners. The babbling of the Maine means the river also runs.

18 March, 2012

On the new Angers trolley, one travel out of 10 is unpaid

The Angers medias reavealed that week an unpleasant behaviour of some Angers users of buses and tramway. The cost of the travels without ticket represent about 400 000 € per year. That figure is the result of a calculation of Keolis, the company which runs the collective transportation system of the city and, which, curiously, does not mention that news on its website. That cost would be equivalent to 3.5% of the travels but, in the trolley, the rate of fraud soars to 10%. 

At the beginning of the year, the representative in charge of the tramway at Alm, Luc Belot, stated that the new network was a success. Lauched at the same time of the the first trolley line, the number of travels in the new buses network and trolley was of 119 000 per day (in that figure, 31 000 for the tram). "The objective is to reach 35 000 travels per day on the trolley line. 31 000 is yet a very good result", he said. So 3 100 travels per day are not paid in the tram.

The formality to board on the tram are so easy and so automatic that it is very simple to travel without a ticket. Because there are no gates to cross before boarding in the tramway where the driver is isolated in a cabin (but how to do differently?), it is vulnerable and rests on honesty and trust. At the same time, the sensibility of the sensors set-up in the carriages is so sharp that a traveller staying with his ticket in front of a device doesn't realize he is debited each time he stands close to these sensors. The honesty is not rewarded. That cannot occur to people without tiket!

17 March, 2012

The man urinating in his gardend dismissed by Angers justice hall and Google strict view

The plaintiff who, a few days ago, summonsed Google at the Angers Justice Hall for a unappropriate picture shot by the cameras of Google Street View, has finally been dismissed. The man was pictured while he was pissing in his garden what was mocked by all the inhabitants of his village, located near Angers. He considered the picture infringed his private life and damaged his image.

Angers Court of Justice [credit Wikipedia]
The court has categorically denied his request because that was not aimed at the company responsible of Google Street View. That brand is managed by Google Usa and not by Google France and it was that one the plaintiff had decided to sue. But the court considered the argument of the Angevin as deprived of any basis because Google Street View allows a person pictured to blur his or her figure. Moreover, the contentious picture was withdrawn the following day after the complain.

So the court sentenced the plaintiff to refund Google France from its judiciary expenses. The Angevins who wanted to get 10 000 € from Google will have to pay 1 200 € because of the cost of the lawyer, the French company had to hire. It's not sure the image of the plaintiff will be restored after such an outcome. When somebody pisses, the best thing is to turn over to be sure Google Street View is not behind...

16 March, 2012

Angers Loire Métropole : don't waste water!

"Angevins sac à vin" is a common saying about the Angers inhabitants. That could change because on March 22nd, Angers Loire Métropole (Alm) will open an open bar of... water in Ralliement square. The purpose is to challenge the taste of the passers-by, unanimously considered as connoisseurs about wine, regarding water. On that day, the World Day of Water, Alm will challenge its citizens about their ability to distinguish different kinds of water. More seriously, the territorial authority will try to convince the inhabitants to drink tap water instead of spring waters.

That event would be also a good opportunity to wake up inhabitants, and especially, the youngests, to use water with moderation (endless showers, cigarette buts thrown away on the pavements then washed away by rains which make the depollution of water much more complicated and costly) could be same of the uses to instil in Angevins' minds. Morevover, some of them are totally illogical because they throw out the plastic bottles anywhere once they have drink the most natural product of universe. The employees of the Angers cleanliness department must appreciate...  

In order to distinguish their city in the field of sustainable development, there is yet a lot of work to do. Water is finite and people have not done a great job of managing it in the past.

15 March, 2012

Angers Loire Valley wants to catch the attention of newcomers

The Angers city wants to catch the attention of travellers as soon as they arrive. Clearly the modernity is the message, Angers is seeking to deliver. But this image doesn't come only from an ad visible on the square in front of the Saint-Laud railway station, but above from the billboard in which the ad is visible. Since a few weeks, a giant tv screen is set up in front of the main hall : it's impossible not to see it.

The city knows that it will not get twice the opportunity to make a first good impression. Colors of the new brand Angers Loire Valley, orange and grey, stand out of the pale blue of the sky. If travellers do not seem to pay attention to the ad, day after day, the message will be memorized because the place is of first order.

The images, especially those of students, display faces which clearly indicates the Angers ambition to attract skills and youth coming from foreign countries. But the effect of catch-word could be much more powerful if they were in English and with voices. The  change of scene would be complete and positive. To welcome foreign citizens arriving in Angers, English words written and spoken would sounds great!

14 March, 2012

Austin : twinning is on Angers roadbook

According to senior officials of Angers town hall, the relationships with Austin, the capital of Texas, will strengthen in the years to come. Maybe more quickly. While an Angers delegation is taking part to the giant music festival South by Southern, a giant event dedicated to the professionnal of music which is hosted by Austin, new ideas are emerging on the Angers side to make good use of that partnership. Angers has probably more to get from Austin than Austin from Angers. 

The cities have not the same size. Austin has around 800 000 inhabitants (Angers city about 150 000). Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech because of numerous universities and multinational companies.Austin is also emerging as a hub for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition to national and global corporations, Austin features a strong network of independent, unique, locally-owned firms and organizations. 

As Austin's official slogan is The Live Music Capital of the World, the city has a vibrant live music scene with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city. And, like Angers with its Festival 1ers plans, Austin hosts the annual Austin film festival. In order to seize opportunities in different fields, Angers city has already sent permanent representatives on the scene. The next step for Angers would to twin with Austin.  (Datas and pictures from wikipedia)

13 March, 2012

English Roses, a trendy flower in Angers region

The Mary Rose (Credit Wiki)
One of the most typical English flowers, under a famous English brand, was on sale - at very interesting price because spring is coming - in the plants department of a Western France superstores chain Hyper U. The flower? Roses! The brand? David Austin Roses. David Austin is a rose breeder and writer. He breeds roses with the character and fragrance of Old Garden Roses like Gallicas and Alba roses but with the repeat-flowering ability and wide colour range of modern roses (Hybrid Teas and Floribundas). Such flowers, currently sold at 14 € were priced at less than 7. 

Though Austin's roses are not officially recognised as a separate class of roses by, for instance, the Royal National Rose Society, they are nonetheless commonly referred to by rosarians, at nurseries, and in horticultural literature as 'English Roses' (the term he uses) or 'Austin Roses'.

Future beds of roses
Since its founding in 1969, the David Austin Roses firm has introduced over 190 rose cultivars which have been named in honour of geographical landmarks in Britain, historical events, and British writers, like Shakespeare. For instance, roses have honoured such diverse entities as the rosarian and artist Graham Thomas (a yellow climbing rose-bush) and King Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose (both on sale in Angers). Badly displayed and watered, the roses are nevertheless very hardy and will exhale their English touch in the weeks to come in a Loire Valley garden beloved to Ronsard.

12 March, 2012

The introduction of iPad in Angers schools will confront pupils to tools and toys

The Angers city wants its schoolchilren up to date in computing. Before the end of April, quite all the the CE2 classes in Angers elementary public schools will have access to the must of the computers : the iPad.After a first delivery of the Ipad last December, the city website annouced that a second wave is about to come. Before the end of schoolyear, 1 000 iPad will have been delivered. The town hall plans to dedicate 350 000 € per year. According to Luc Belot, deputy mayor in charge of education, "this is the most important project of deployment in classes of that new educational tool".

Credit Angers city
A practical aspect has triggered the investment : the computer classrooms are has been, under used. So the city decide to send computing in the classrooms. The teachers look impressed by the easiness of their pupils to use the iPad. Those "bring something more to the traditionnal teaching but do not replace it", says one of the teacher.

If the first results of the experience are positive, Mr Belot insists on the necessity to study the introduction with care. One of the possible consequences is to make the youngs addict to laptops and to reduce their analytic ability. If these tools are got into the school, its for learnig and no playing. But they are also, incredible toys. From the tools to the toys, there is only a click... 

11 March, 2012

Important increase of the passengers at Angers Marcé Airport in 2011

It is still a little airport. The fourth of the Pays de la Loire, far from Nantes Atlantique which recorded more than 3 millions of passengers en 2011, far from Saint-Nazaire Montoir (14 500 in 2011) and behind Le Mans Arnage (6 500 last year), but its traffaic took off in 2011. Angers Marcé, is not the smallest, but, maybe the youngest airport of the Pays de la Loire. Nevertheless it recorded 5 300 passengers in 2011 : an increase of 60% compared to 2011.

This is good news for its main financial supports : the city of Angers and the Maine et Loire Industry and Commerce Chamber. Recently, the airport opened a new line toward London, apparently as competitive as those offered by Ryan Air at Tours Airport. Another line will be operated to Nice from the beginning of May. In the previous years, several lines and companies choose to close their travels because of their insufficient profitability. 

If the nature of the travels isn't disclosed, business or leisure, the increase could be a clue of the dynamic of the local economy. In order to expend the trend, the Angers Marcé should change its name in something cloe to Angers Loire Valley.

10 March, 2012

Angers and Austin cities want to enhance their cooperation

Credit Angers City
The links between Angers and Austin are becoming tighter. Launched in March 2010, their cooperation will result in the travel of an Angers delegation to the "South by Southwest" festival, a leading musical event in United States. According to the website of Angers city, "the creative and cultural economy is one of the main leverage to stimulate exchanges between Angers and the capital city of Texas". Among the members of the Angers delegation are seven local companies working in the field of contemporary music "which will thus have the opporunity to increase their business and to place Angers as a privilegied entrance of Western France". 

Credit Wilipedia
The visit to the Chabada, a musical theatre of Angers, of Us bands native from Austin is planned and the promotion of Angers artists in the Texas state and from there, beyond. Other fields of cooperation are developped : school and universitarian exchanges (Angers hosts since more than a year a branch of the Saint-Edward University located in Austin) and the environmental economy. 

Moreover, the initiative is a way to implement the new brand Angers Loire Valley, designed to make easier the identification of the city for foreign people. The brand, sometimes criticized in Angers, demonstrates its interest for the conquest of a better fame of Angers in English speaking countries.

09 March, 2012

Josephine Baker gave her name to her new street of Angers

Credit Wikipedia
She was, in her time, France between the first and the second world war, "The artist". Josephine Baker (1906-1975) gave her name on March 9th to a street of the new Angers district, Les Hauts de Saint-Aubin, unveiled by Frédéric Beatse, mayor. 

The event was the concrete translation of the Women's Day and an appropriate recognition of the quality of Josephine Baker during her different lives as dancer, singer, actress, spy during the second world war (Baker assisted the French Resistance by smuggling secrets written in invisible ink on her sheet music), activist (she is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States) and mother of twelve adopted children.

Credit Anges city
Born in Saint-Louis (Missouri, Usa), she renounced her American citizenship in 1937 to become French. Numerous places pay tribute to that woman : in France as well as in United States. Mr Beatse wished the new street and the new district be places of "exchange, diversity and équality", the most revered demand in contemporary France. An Angers town councillor said that "In Angers, many streets bear the names of men, as a mark of diversity, we wished that street had the name of a memorable woman in history".

08 March, 2012

The Atoll complex could enlarge its offer, more than planned by Angers

Atoll, the commercial complex located at the North of Angers which is due to open on April 4th, could face some troubles to rent all its commercial surfaces. In that conditions, the arrival of a superstore food chain could have been welcomed by the Company of Phalsbourg, which manages the project, but less favourably by Angers Loire Métropole (Alm).  At the beginning of the scheme, a food store was not planned. The Phalsbourg team would have insisted and the Alm authority would have finally "gave up".

"We didn' gave up", said Daniel Loiseau, in charge of economy at Alm. "Today, we plan a store of about 500 to 700 m2. A superstore is out of question". Another disagreement between the Company of Phalsbourg and the Angers Loire Métropole authority occured regarding the arrival of a culture store. The brand Le Furet du Nord, a chain of giant bookstores could come. Apparently, Alm didn't know it. Will the property developpers, who wanted to create a cinema in Atoll, reach their goal. Ont that point the refusal of Alm is adamant.

These conflicts are worrying Europe Ecologie Les Verts (Eelv) d'Angers who predict that Atoll wil be a second down town which will compete with the core of the city. A few months ago, another conflict had erupted regarding the opening of stores on Sundays. It could come back if the Atoll needs it to take off.

07 March, 2012

To support capital budget and gross reserve : main fields of challenge for the new Angers mayor

Major action in the life of town, and above all in the first year of office of a new mayor, the Angers municipal council passed on Monday its 2012 budget. The first budget of Frédéric Beatse has a total of 271,60 millions €, it's just a little bit higher than the former one (271 millions €) of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Antonini. The peak of the total budget was reached in 2009, at 278 millions €. The crisis explains that decrease. But it is on a long period (2003-2012) that the comparison of 10 financial years is the most informative.

The capital budget, dedicated to investments decreases, even if, in 2012 vs. 2011, it is on a slight increase (65,8 and 64,26 millions €). Compared to the 2009 financial year, the decrease is important (65,8 vs 80,27 millions €), i.e. -18%. But, for the operating budget, which finances the current expenditures of the city (among them, the wages), there is no decrease. It had a total of 141 millions € in 2003 and 182 millions in 2012, i.e. + 29%. And the gross reserve (the savings of the city), which reached 35 millions € in 2003, will fall at 23,6 millions € in 2012.

 In relative value, that item experiments the most dramatic change. From 15% of the 2003 budget, he represents 9% in the 2012 budget. On a long period the current expenditures are taking more weight while the capital budget stagnates while it should increase in order to support the Angers economy. The main challenge of Mr Beatse will be to keep the operating budget stable and to increase the capital budget and the gross reserve. Because the crisis is not close to the end.

06 March, 2012

Angers want to get rid of the weeds without pesticides but inhabitants continue to dirty the streets

The city of Angers want to turn to the no phytosanitary products in the treatment of streets and gardens through an event called "Spring without pesticide. In order to awaken the public interest to that behaviour, visits, workshops, talks and organized activities are planned during march and april all over the town. Original discoveries have to be made : a visit of beehive, insects huts, display of ecological weeding method, a walk throughout the urban botanic species, a biological garden. The aim of that serie of event is to lead the people to have a new sight about the weeds and to sitmulate gardenin without chemical products.

Such an initiative is interesting and commendable. But it would be more appropriate to awake people about basic respect of the urban environment. How many Angers inhabitants throw their gums, cigarette buts and wraping paper on the streets, on the pavements and even on the lawns and beds of flowers maintained by the town employees who will teach the basic behaviour for persons already interested by environment issues. 

Symbolically, Angers displayed posters with plants in asphalt to tease the public. Before improving green places in town, it would be useful to teach inhabitants not to dirty them§

05 March, 2012

Another Angers singer, Titi Robin, selected by the French Music Victory

Credit Angers city
After Pony Pony Run Run, an Angers band who was recently praised for its second album, it's up to another Angers singer to be awarded. Titi Robin has competed in the last edition of the Music Victories, a French national competition which takes place every year, and if he didn't got the prize was nevertheless on the stage for his last album " The banks". 

Titi Robin, selected in the category "best album of world music", is inspired by gypsy, arabic and european cultures. He is born in Angers in 1957 and grew up in La Roseraie, an Angers district. Then he travelled over the world what lead him to build its own musical universe and records albums since 1980. He has given numerous concerts, in South Africa, the Middle East, and France. He has also been involved in extensive collaborations for reinterpretations of that Brittany's distinctive Celtic music.

Surrounded by foreign musicians, Titi Robin created a new musical family who respects the skills and emphasize them, write the Niïve company, which publishes his music. The English and French title of his last album "The river banks" is an allusion to the Mediterranean sea.