Monday, 10 March 2008

Dordogneshire!

Apparently this is the name given to the part of France where we are going to live, due to the large percentage of English people living there. A friend of Ian's sent him links to 3 articles in the English national press about the area, as from March 9 new rules come into force allowing non-French citizens to stand in council elections. As one article says

With 200 British families out of 2,600 inhabitants, a British population that swells to 900 in the summer months and a dozen British small businesses, the village of Eymet is at the heart of the trend.

However I liked the view of someone at the University of Sussex, who it seems is researching into the phenomenon of British local councillors in France and also happens to be standing in her village in Normandy. (How does she manage to keep her University job and live in France..I must talk to her!) According to the article in the Guardian she argues that

the new wave of British residents are becoming more active locally, often inspired by protecting their rural idyll from things like wind farms and new building projects, or managing the look of the village. "Like in Britain, where middle-class urban people moved to rural areas for retirement, they would typically try and take over things, like parish councils, village fetes ... changing farming practices or seeking to further their own interests. Not everyone is like that, but it looks as if it's now starting to happen in France."

I wonder whether it will be that much different from living in Sussex!

I thought that the comment by Ian's friend was most telling!

I would like to read a French article on the same subject but I guess they dont see it as anything unusual or worth reporting.

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