In the Somme, residents and councilors are mobilizing to save the elementary school of Quend

The potential closure of the Quend school and the transfer of students to that of Fort-Mahon-Plage must be voted on in early December. A situation which causes the incomprehension of the parents of pupils, but also that of the city councilors of the two municipalities.

We are presented with these figures as inevitable, without taking into account the commitments and the context of the municipality“, points out Marc Volant. Like many, the mayor of Quend wonders about the result of a study on which the community of communes Ponthieu-Marquenterre would rely to close the elementary school in this small town in the Somme. he announcement of this possibility, put to the vote in a few weeks, and made by the mayor himself during the ceremony on November 11, surprised more than one.

Once the official speech was over, we saw the mayor very moved, it was obvious that he wanted to tell us somethingremembers Ludovic Lequette, parent of students. The mayor of Fort-Mahon put his hand on his shoulder, telling him that they would stand together, and he announced to us that the transfer of the workforce to Fort-Mahon was envisaged by the community of commune.

The study on which the latter is based to support its decision is at the heart of the questions: “A demographic calculation shows that we would go from 93 to 73 children in a few years here, and that Fort-Mahon would fall to 30. Except that we do not understand what justifies such a dropcomments Marc Volant. Moreover, the figures are very different from those of the same study carried out on the subject a year earlier.“The city councilor judges this decision”hasty” whereas “the school functions well, is viable“.”If we only had one class, it was difficult, we wouldn’t fight like that. You have to be measured and lucid“, he adds.

Young speech therapists want to set up a practice, we are lucky to have a doctor who arrived six months ago. We have a post office, a convenience store, a media library, it’s still not nothing.

Marc Volant, mayor of Quend

France 3 Picardy

Everyone regrets that the positive dynamics of this coastal town are not taken into account. “It is a municipality, which is gaining inhabitants and not just retirees and which has a real real estate development project to attract families to settle year-round.“explains Raphaël, non-resident but owner of a house in the town. Since the Covid, we have more and more families coming, confirms the aedile of Quend. And then we are active, both to keep locals and attract new residents.

And the schools who are an integral part of community life.“, slip all the stakeholders questioned, also serve to attract them. Aware of its power of attraction, parents of students and other concerned residents are mobilizing for its maintenance. We have a village where people are quite active, unitedconfides Ludovic who coordinates the movement. We created posters, launched a petition which received more than 700 signatures in two days. The idea is not to go towards a confrontation, but to understand precisely what is happening, to present our arguments in a benevolent and diplomatic manner.

The protesters notably listed the reasons in favor of maintaining the school. In addition to the fact that it promotes year-round village life and its attractiveness, they also point to the additional fatigue for children and teachers, as well as the difficulties associated with school transport and finding drivers, in addition to the cost. and the carbon footprint that this represents.

But their reflections do not stop at their single commune. “We are not only fighting against the closure of our school“, continues Ludovic. Eventually, they fear that the schools of Fort-Mahon, and others, will close one after the other. “If we stop at a purely accounting observation, we might as well return the keys, we will create dormitory villages, dead villages. This still goes against national directives and even the will of the community of municipalities to develop rural areas.“, concludes the aedile.

In any case, the various parties hope to be able to present their arguments and find a solution through dialogue. A meeting to which parents of students, all elected officials, but also the deputy Emmanuel Maquet and one of the senators of the Somme Laurent Somon will be invited, is to be held on November 26.

In the Somme, residents and councilors are mobilizing to save the elementary school of Quend