You said Gérard Collomb had served no purpose as Minister of the Interior. Would you say the same for Gérald Darmanin, who comes from the same political family as you?
“It is not because we were in the same party that I will be more lenient with him. In addition, I was not with President Sarkozy, who reduced the police force. We are paying the consequences today. I will answer this question when he comes to Saint-Étienne as he has promised and especially when he announces the arrival of the 120 national police officers promised by Bernard Cazeneuve in 2016. What I expect from a minister is to keep his promises, that’s all. Since that announcement from Cazeneuve, 30 national police officers have arrived. 90 missing, I want the 90 that the state promised me. Gérard Collomb announced 25 daily security police officers in January 2019. In September 2020 15 new police officers arrived, so there is a shortage of 10. I asked Darmanin these numbers by mail. He said he would come to Saint-Etienne on a ministerial visit to answer. I will tell you on the evening of his departure whether it is useful or not. “”
The situation is still difficult in some districts of Saint-Étienne. You also invite the Prefect and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to the meeting of the residents of Côte-Chaude on January 23rd. Do you really have leverage to trade locally?
“We have doubled the number of city police officers, we have equipped and armed them, we have more than tripled the number of surveillance cameras, we have set up an additional city police station in the city center and we are going to build a new center. Supervision … I’ve also done a lot with prevention. We are the 8th municipal police force in France. The city is present at every link in the chain. However, there are areas of security that fall under government missions because we need investigations, police and investigative practices that we cannot conduct. And in Saint-Étienne, the local representatives of the state do not have the means. I would also like to applaud the courage and determination of the national police. They do everything they can given their working conditions. I have also written several times to the prosecutor asking for less negligence. I understand the lack of understanding of the police when the consequences are not always the same after difficult arrests. “”
18.5 million for the renovation of the Fauriel Police Station and the Police Station on Rue Balaÿ, which is moving to Jacquard, are all government measures …
“The Fauriel Police Station has not been renovated in the slightest for 40 years. 18 million over 40 years is a minimum. “”
“Retailers compete for furnishings in the old H&M building”
Stahl has been open for four months. Still convinced that this bar doesn’t overshadow downtown shops?
“This is not the best time to take stock. But if I believe the initial feedback, I believe Steel will achieve its original goals. The center is very successful and sees visitors from Ardèche, Drôme, Rhône, Haute-Loire and of course from Saint-Étienne. The goal of having an attractive trading center at the regional level seems to be showing. And if the impact is on the city center, it is more likely to be positive. As proof, I am making the decision of Center-Deux’s management to undertake a major renovation than some predicted an inevitable closure … Les Halles, which has been closed for 15 years, will open in June … and we have more than today 4,000 companies in Saint-Étienne when there were fewer than 2,700 when I was elected. The type of signs you’ll find in Steel is fundamentally different from those in downtown. There is no cannibalization of customers.
Will the premises in the city center, which have been vacant since H & M’s departure, find a buyer?
“I can tell you that brands compete in the construction industry. Pascale Lacour, sales assistant, welcomes 4 or 5 national brands every month who want to settle in the heart of the city. “”
You wrote to the minister asking for openings on Sundays in January. You won your case. Is that a sufficient solution?
“I don’t think so. This is in line with keeping credit and after weeks of closure, retailers have to empty their stocks. The city offers means like the My shopping platform in Saint-Étienne and is looking with them for solutions to cushion the economic shock . We will continue the 3 free hours in all free parking spaces. “”
“I tell the state to let the areas trade”
Covid has been part of your daily life since March. Do you feel that you have poor ties to the state in dealing with this crisis?
“Yes, I can confirm that this is part of my daily life with the establishment of a Covid crisis department at the end of February. It met every day from late February to mid-June. Today is at least once a week. The relationships I now have with Catherine Seguin (and previously with the former Prefect) are very cooperative, efficient, constructive and consist of listening and sharing. But that doesn’t mean that relations or work with the state are going as I would like them to. We are in the same boat as the prefect with the same goals and give the people in Stéphane concrete answers for their daily lives, which are reassured by measures such as screening. We set it up in 15 days thanks to the ARS, the CHU, the Prefect, the CPAM and the municipal services. I tell the state let the territories act. The government has shown unacceptable contempt since the crisis began, which has hurt its effectiveness in dealing with the Covid crisis. It was irresponsible management for me. The second consequence, which I consider serious and which I would also like to fight my behavior against, is the questioning of public speech and its value, to which I want to give all its strength back. People need solid standards and consistency in public. It is an integral part of the 3rd pillar (social well-being / health, sustainable development / values of the republic) that I announced at the time of the local elections. “”