Economy, town planning, ecology, medical deserts: for the Dépêche du Midi, the mayor of the commune of Eauze, Michel Gabas, looks back on the reflections in progress as well as the major projects to come for the next ten years.
The economic fabric is developing, what about the medical fabric in a rural environment like Eauze?
When I was elected, there was a major subject which was that of urban works. It was necessary to renovate public spaces, roads… Today, there are several issues around medical deserts. Six years ago, several doctors retired. We had to react and it was not easy.
We created a medical center and we had to look for doctors, it’s not easy.
Thanks to a recruitment agency we were able to recruit Spanish doctors. And from the moment we have a medical center that fills up, we can expand. Today it works well, but we must consolidate the medical fabric and make practitioners want to stay. But when we talk about medical deserts, it concerns dentists, pharmacists… This is one of the important subjects on which we are working.
Still in rural areas, how to think about the ecological transition for the next few years?
We are working on climate plans, travel, equipment for recharging electric vehicles, public transport. But we cannot think of the ecological transition in Eauze as we think of it in Toulouse. On photovoltaics, seven years ago, with the PLU, we couldn’t put it everywhere. Over the past year, things have changed. We are trying to educate elected officials on the subject.
All this can help attract more people to the town, but do we still have to meet the housing challenge?
We are working a lot on the problem of unfit housing. We realized that there were more and more substandard housing. We are challenged by people and the mayor comes to see. Today, there is tension over housing, even in Eauze. I want to set up a license to rent. It can avoid conflicts. To be able to rent accommodation, you will need the approval of the town hall.
Another 10-year objective concerns the construction of new housing. But that supposes a whole reflection in relation to the urban planning documents that exist today, the PLU, the climate and resilience law and the SCoT. And that joins the other issues, if people can find proper housing, they will be able to find work and benefit from the services that we offer, that’s important.
We also work with the State services on seasonal housing. Everyone is concerned, the elderly too. They have two solutions, either stay at home or go to a retirement home. I would like to create an intermediate solution by offering a home. It would be a question of proposing studios to live there in autonomy, with common spaces.