Last straight line for Jean-François Carenco, Minister Delegate for Overseas Territories, who had been visiting Saint-Martin since last Saturday. A look back at this productive day on Tuesday, October 18, 2022


The morning was devoted to City Policy with a focus on one of the priority districts, namely Sandy Ground, the second being Quartier d'Orléans which the representative of the Overseas Ministry unfortunately did not visit during his stay in the territory. Vincent Berton, delegate prefect of the Northern Islands, and Louis Mussington, president of the Collectivity, were of course at his side for each sequence. 


Maison France Services – Sandy Ground

The ministerial delegation first visited the administrative offices of Maison France Services (MSF). Jean-François Carenco met the teams, including five state-funded civic service positions. The two offices, an extension of the Collectivity, have a monthly average of 484 users who carry out certain administrative procedures without having to go to downtown Marigot. The minister delegate then went to the neighborhood council to talk with the members of the collective of collectives on the subjects of concern to the Sandy Ground district.


Nature is the key – Sandy Ground

Long stage for the officials who met Juliette Irish, director of the association Nature is the key of Sandy Ground and her team. Valérie Martineau, CAF Northern Islands unit, Christine Gangloff-Ziegler, rector of the Guadeloupe Academy, and Harry Christophe, vice-rector, were also present. Nature is the key, funded by the City Policy, is a social living space that offers support for schooling, leisure reception without accommodation and learning colos, integrating the evaluation system from the outset. 

The minister wanted to salute the initiative by presenting director Juliette Irish with the Medal of Honor for the Ultramarine Commitment for her exceptional action in favor of social cohesion. Created last year, this honorary title with these three levels is intended to promote people who have distinguished themselves by their strong and lasting commitment. “This medal is certainly a thank you and a distinction but also a way to bring those who serve to the fore, who show the example. said the Minister Delegate who invites Nature is the key to professionalize the association which dates from 2019 and to act with other associative structures of Sandy Ground to increase the strike force of direct public actions.


Construction Companions Builders – Sandy Ground

During this sequence, the Minister Delegate was able to exchange directly with the young people in integration on the construction site of the association of Compagnons Bâtisseurs, highly active with post-Irma reconstruction projects. The current project is financed by the State via the Department of Economy, Employment, Labor and Solidarity (DEETS) for job aid by the Chantier d'insertion workshop and via the Social Fund European (FSE) for management positions. Jean-François Carenco and the officials were guided by Alexandre Lagogue, General Manager at Association Nationale Compagnons Bâtisseurs and Maé Bridier, Director of Compagnons Bâtisseurs in Saint-Martin, safety helmet screwed on the head. 


Sandy Ground Watersports Center and Pool

The last sequence in the Sandy Ground district took place on the construction site of the future removable swimming pool of the Club Nautique de Saint-Martin (CNSM). Bülent Gülay, president of the CNSM and Marc Fabre, referent for the Northern Islands of the Regional Academic Delegation for Youth, Engagement and Sports (DRAJES) received Jean-François Carenco to explain to him the project for the future basin of learning to surf and swim on land made available for 15 years by the Buildinvest group, opposite the former Alberic Richards stadium. If the promoters of the project have not yet collected all the financing, the Minister Delegate advised them to start the application for a building permit without delay and to turn to Vincent Berton for a European regional development fund (ERDF) in order to complete their budget of a total of €734.201,48. The seawater swimming pool will be reserved for schools in the morning and open to the public in the afternoons, upon financial contribution. The Minister Delegate was eager to inaugurate this new installation and then head to the seafront to admire the schools of iguanas basking in the sun.

At the end of this succession of visits to the Sandy Ground district, Jean-François Carenco said he was “amazed” by so many signs of consistency and determination.


Prefectural Hotel – Concordia

To conclude the morning of Tuesday, the ministerial convoy returned to the prefecture for a meeting on housing with the actors concerned, in particular the DEAL, the SEMSAMAR, the SIKOA, the SIG, the Compagnons Bâtisseurs, the Banque des Territoires, Action Logement and the ARS. Among the many topics raised in terms of reconstruction and regional planning during this meeting, which lasted an hour without the presence of the press: the protection of private buildings, the fight against unsanitary housing or the revitalization of urban centers , the living environment, networks and public facilities. 


Press briefing

During the last microphone held with the local press, it was Vincent Berton, deputy prefect, who spoke first about the housing meeting which had just ended: "the objective of this meeting is to unite all resources in the face of this major challenge for the future of Saint-Martin, namely the lack of housing, through an agreement that commits all the actors with a schedule of achievements on targeted operations in priority neighborhoods but also of Saint-James and of Agrément. Safety, health and housing are the primary rights of all Saint-Martin citizens. A protocol will therefore be signed by the end of the year to initiate the actions. Louis Mussington, President of the COM, is satisfied with the strategy put in place to confront this urgent problem and the goodwill of the Minister Delegate. As for the latter, he declares “we are going to work in a somewhat arduous and difficult way, but we are going to do it together. »


Lunch with cultural actors – Marigot

For the final lunch of his official visit, the Delegate Minister for Overseas Territories immersed himself in an area close to his heart, culture, by meeting several artists at the Carré Vert. Three tables had been prepared for the occasion, the Minister was thus able to move from table to table depending on the dish served. Example of the topics covered: the development of cultural projects in schools, opening up to self-employed status for performing artists and the reopening of the Maisons des Jeunes et de la Culture (MJC). Jean-François Carenco showed himself to listen to his interlocutors with a real desire to act because for the politician: “culture is particularly close to my heart, it is the very essence of life”.

The Minister Delegate for Overseas France concluded his visit to the territory of Saint-Martin by meeting Silveria E. Jacobs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, at the office of the Prefecture before heading to the airport to return to Paris. When asked about his feelings after three intense days on the ground in Saint-Martin, Jean-François Carenco declared: “I have great hope and this absolute possibility of going faster, further and stronger. When you come to Saint-Martin and take the time to listen, watch and talk to the locals, you say to yourself that there is everything to succeed. » _VX

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