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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Former mayor wins back control in St Pol

by Andrew Bibby

Hebden Bridge's twin town St Pol sur Ternoise is emerging from a period of intense political activity, with the all-important control of the town hall now back in the hands of former mayor (and frequent visitor to Hebden Bridge) Maurice Louf.

Louf was unexpectedly defeated by a right-wing challenger Yves H?niart in the elections of March 2008, by the wafer-thin majority of 44 votes. Under French election rules, this enabled H?niart to have an overwhelming majority of his own supporters on the town council. H?niart represented his town at the Hebden Bridge 500 year celebrations held last year.

But H?niart suffered a spectacular collapse of support among his own team earlier this year, with four councillors resigning and accusing him of authoritarian behaviour. With the council unable to set a budget, new elections have had to be held. This time Maurice Louf, representing the left slate, has taken his revenge.

Maurice Louf's new administration sees several people who have been active in the town twinning with Hebden Bridge back in positions of responsibility, including Claude Roussez (to be first deputy mayor) , Pierre Ancel and Didier Hochart, president of the St Pol international friendship association.

Among other things, Maurice Louf plans to create a new library and digital media centre for the town. He was among the visitors from St Pol last year who visited Hebden Bridge's new library.

See also

St Pol sur Ternoise
Hebden Bridge’s French twin town

La Voix du Nord - 10 questions concerning the future of St. Pol

Neighbours and Twin Towns

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