NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION

with Madeleine McMullin

Perpignan in the top 10 most attractive towns in France

The site Topito.com makes lists of anything and everything.  One of these has been put together based on the number of new arrivals between 2006 and 2013 relative to the size of the conurbation.  Paris was excluded because its size and importance were disproportionate.  The winner was Lyon with 28,000 new inhabitants, followed by Montpellier (20,000) and Toulouse (19,000).  Perpignan was 9th with 6,000 in the 6 year period.

Central Perpignan shops

There are 8% less empty shops in central Perpignan than there were in 2014.  However  there has been quite a turnover of stores between Oct 2015 and Nov 2016 with 266 changing name, activity or owner in that period.  If you look at bars and restaurants 51 have opened and 20 shut.  37 fashion stores have opened and 19 shut.  Over the period there were 96 new empty properties of which 17 have been reoccupied.

Teacher sentenced

A 30 year old teacher from a private college in Perpignan has been given a suspended sentence of 1 year for corruption of minors.  The psychiatric reports confirmed that he had no paedophile tendencies and the defence pleaded that he had simply got over-friendly with pupils that he was no longer teaching after becoming connected on social media networks and had got carried away posting videos of a sexual character and making improper suggestions by text.  He has been banned from working with minors whether in a voluntary or professional capacity for 5 years.  The families were awarded €1 in damages.

Night train from Paris to Cerbère may be reprieved

The last night train from Paris to Portbou via Perpignan ran on 10th December.  The trains were cancelled despite protests, but the State has agreed to review the decision following an intervention by the Region as the train was rated a TET (train d’équilibre du territoire – train for territorial balance).  The revived train would go to Cerbère not Portbou.

College places decided by address

The Departmental Assembly voted on 12th December to allocate places in local colleges by address rather than the primary school attended which was the case until now, at least in Perpignan.  Outside Perpignan, there are a couple of changes: children living in St Nazaire will go to Canet en Roussillon rather than Cabestany where the school is over-subscribed.  Those living in Corbère and in Corbère les Cabanes will go to the new college in Millas rather than Ille sur Têt.  A map is available on the Independant’s website where you can see where your child will go.

76 year old attacked and tied up by burglars

A 76 year old lady was woken around 3.30 by masked burglars and went to confront them.  She tried to make them run away, but they grabbed her and tied her up.  They then ran away with cash and various other objects.  She managed to free herself and rang the emergency services but the police have so far been unable to track down her attackers.

Collapsible car dreamed up by lycée students for fire service

The Plateforme Technologique (Technological platform or PFT) is a bridge between professionals, industry and education.  Professionals regularly call on the education establishments that are part of it to come up with ideas to help them in their work.  The Sdis (fire and rescue service) asked the Picasso Lycée in Perpignan to ponder a slightly odd idea: “the rescue services often have to cut vehicles open to get at victims and so they came up with a car that could be easily taken to pieces and put back together” explained a teacher.  70 pupils worked on it over a year and a half and it was handed over to the Sdis in December for them to play with.

Perpignan Thursdays: time to apply for summer 2017

Candidates to organise the festival have until 6th January to apply to the Perpignan Tourist Office and a decision will be made on 10th January.  The festival will start on 20th July and carry on till 31st August.  The budget is €295,000 and as well as music, shows and children’s entertainment, there should be a son, eau et lumière show at the Maillol fountain on the last night.  The artistic director will have to decide on a theme to unify the acts.

Collioure.fr – best town hall website for less than 5000 population

Collioure’s website has won first prize in the 2016 Communication Trophies, the 15th edition of the national competition to recognise the best communication tools.  Collioure was selected from 800 entries.  The site had recently been redone and since 2014, Collioure has been working to promote the village through event-based and constitutional communication.

Flights from Perpignan to London Southend from May 2017

During the 2017 summer season, Flybe will be flying from Southend to Perpignan using 2 118 seater Embraer 195 planes.  Tickets are already available on the Flybe website.

6 cars burnt in Perpignan HLM

6 cars were burnt in the early hours of 31st December in the El Vivès HLM (council housing) in Perpignan.  3 of the cars were totally destroyed, the other 3 were partially saved by the fire service.

INSEE stats show changes in department population

Stats published on 2nd January show the official population of each commune.  Communes with less than 5000 inhabitants are only re-evaluated every 5 years.  The figures published are based on 2014.  The P-O’s population was up by 3.96% or 17,784 at 466,327.  Perpignan had 120,605 inhabitants.  Urbanya had the highest percentage increase as its small size meant an extra 23 people made a big difference.  Among the larger communes Saint Jean Lasseille exploded in size up 75%.

Canet en Roussillon lost the most inhabitants followed by Bompas and Saint Cyprien.  It is still however the second town in the department with 12,224 people but Saint Estève is hot on its heels (11,925).

Madeleine McMullin lives in Palalda from where she runs her marketing business Marketing66.  She has worked both in the UK and abroad, with big brand names in the interiors and design industries such as Wedgwood, Denby, Sebastian Conran, Laura Ashley, Hemingway Design……..

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