bThe development of the participation of the inhabitants is a major orientation of the municipal action. The creation of Consultative Sector Councils (CCS) in April 2002 is part of this desire to improve the dialogue between the inhabitants, their associations, the elected officials and the services of the City of Grenoble.
Their action is complementary and coordinated with the activity of other consultative bodies: Consultative Council of Grenoblois Foreign Residents (CCREG), Advisory Council of the Elderly (CCPA), Local Council of Childhood and Youth (CLEJ), the Advisory Committee on Urbanism (CCU).
The CCSs are general authorities for the participation of inhabitants, which aim to promote the knowledge of use of all Grenoble citizens and to promote democratic debate through the expression of opinions. These can be either consensual or contradictory. Through their debates, they contribute to enriching municipal thinking in all areas of public action, starting with that of the City.
The implementation of CCS in the autumn of 2002 was a gradual and evolving approach, both homogeneous across all sectors and flexible enough to take into account the specificities of each of them. The reference charter relied on by the City and the CCS during the first period was revised following the ongoing evaluation work carried out in conjunction with the Advisory Councils and the associative actors.
Territorial tax base
The territorial base of the CCS is that of the six sectors of the municipal antennas. This scale of intervention of the CCS proved to be relevant in view of the discussions held and the opinions expressed. As envisaged in the 2002 Launch Charter, re-divisions and adjustments were made, taking into account the opinions of the SACs and Neighborhood Unions. This re-division aims at a better territorial balance between the sectors, and can still evolve.
The CCS are places of expression, information, consultation and proposal on any project or thematic, any initiative or file pertaining to the territorial scale of the sector, or the City, which they are seized by the Municipality, or who interests them. They can encourage the organization of consultations and promote themes raised by the inhabitants themselves.
On issues across the City or Agglomeration, CCSs are encouraged to work together; periodic meetings can be made to cross the points of view of each of the sectors (the general animation of the CCS for a common work on certain themes could be organized by the City of Grenoble).
The City’s budget is one of the possible areas of consultation for CCSs.
Presidency, animation and internal organization.
The SAC is co-chaired by the Deputy District Councilor or Councilor and a Board member, appointed by his / her peers.
The animation of the meetings can be entrusted to a member of the CCS. It is important that the facilitation function of the meetings (plenary, working groups or commissions) be distinguished from the co-chairmanship functions and that the facilitator is not directly involved in the issues being dealt with. Animation trainings are and will be offered again to all interested members.
The role of the elected representative is to express municipal positions and reflections and to ensure an effective link with the other elected officials of the City. It also has a role of promoting the activity and opinions of the CCS in municipal bodies.
The SAC may have an office to monitor and organize the operation of the SAC, set its agenda and prepare its discussions in relation to working groups and committees.
Working groups or commissions can be created within each CCS on any theme and according to the modalities that it will define.
The CCS is composed of volunteer members: motivated inhabitants, representatives of local associations, general or thematic, economic actors.
CCS is not intended to be representative in the strict sense of the term. However, they are a place of expression of a diversity of words of inhabitants and openness to the participation of citizens in the life of the municipality. As such, and taking into account the composition obtained during the first period, special efforts must be made to:
– open to “young people and foreign residents”,
– ensure the representation of all neighborhoods in the sector, in order to ensure the inclusion of themes at the scale of the sector,
– ensure the renewal every three years of 50% of the members,
– rotate the leaders (co-chair, bureau members, committee moderators or working group),
– to integrate new members at the end of each resignation or relocation of the sector concerned,
– open the various committees and plenary meetings to all the inhabitants who would be interested to follow and participate in these debates, whether or not they are members of the CCS.
It is desirable that the “motivated inhabitants” represent at least a 1/3 of the members of the CCS, that each Union de quartier is represented, by one or more persons and that the associations of the sector in their diversity of activity (sport, culture , education, parents of students) also have representatives.
Each council will have to take care to respect a fair representation of the different neighborhoods as well as the diversity of the fields of activity of the associations.
In order to make the consultative body more effective and to guarantee good conditions for debate and expression within it, the number of “voting” members will be voluntarily limited to 50 members. The notion of “substitute” member is no longer retained.
The list of members proposed by the CCS will be validated each year by the City Council.
Associations mandate their representatives. “Motivated residents” present their candidacy during the renewal meeting, which validates the composition.
If the number of candidates is greater than the number of places, it is within each group that the members are designated (socio-cultural associations, sports, motivated residents, neighborhood unions, etc.).
Membership renewal uses a combination of formulas: it is organized by the City in conjunction with existing CCSs, through a call for nominations through the local press and relying on members who can recruiting “motivated inhabitants”, people from associations or economic actors working on the sector.
Periodicity of meetings and functioning
Each CCS meets in public plenary session three times a year if possible. These meetings have a function of reporting the activity of the CCS to the inhabitants, who can freely participate and inform themselves without voting. They constitute a time of debate, of expression of opinion, of public positioning in relation to proposals made by working groups.
The opinions are voted by the members of the CCS according to the modalities fixed by the internal regulations, of which the CCS can be equipped.
Each CCS, for its secretariat and communication, may be assisted by a person recruited from the funds available to it.
Restitution of debates
The CCSs issue opinions, recommendations, proposals or wishes. Within Councils, opinions must come from a work of reflection and collective construction. They are formalized (written and argued), debated in plenary public, and voted by the members. They are forwarded to the Mayor by the Co-Chairs and made public by the CCS.
The CCS are places where differences can be expressed and a contradictory debate can develop. This is why the opinion they give on a project must be able to show divergent positions.
The contributions of the Advisory Councils are returned to the City in the form of:
when the CCS formulate a response to an explicit request from the City (example: referrals to the CCS by the Mayor),
proposal when the CCS self-seize a project and bring it to the attention of elected officials or spontaneously return to the City remarks, requests for modifications to a project or formulate innovative proposals,
of recommendation when they position themselves on questions of method: conduct of a project; organization of a consultation,
greetings when the CCS ask the City (Mayor) to adopt in Council a position (which can be transmitted to another institution if the subjects fall within its field of competences).
City Council is notified. He remains sovereign of the decisions he makes. He undertakes to return to CCS, as quickly as possible, the reasons for his choices.
When the CCS sends its notice to the City, the original is sent to the Citizenship and DSU Service, which prepares an acknowledgment of receipt at the Mayor’s signature. After examining the opinion in ad hoc working group or in City Council, a mail is written by the concerned thematic service to the signature of the Mayor (or the thematic elected) indicating how the opinion was (or was not) taken into account, and arguing the position of the City.
Activity report: each CCS prepares an annual activity report which will include a report on the use of its funds and will be sent to the Mayor who will inform the members of the municipal council.
Relation to the inhabitants
It appears necessary that the commissions and plenary assemblies be open to a diversity of public (member of the CCS or not) likely to carry different interests and expectations.
The City must ensure wide publicity of these bodies, by the means at its disposal and in particular through its monthly newspaper and its website.
Financial and administrative means
Each CCS has an annual budget of € 10,000 for its operation, in particular to ensure its secretariat and make its own communication media. This fund can also be used to use animation professionals or benefit from methodological support.
The Council has a room equipped with computer equipment, telephony and Internet connection.
Similarly, if necessary, the SAC may request to meet the City’s services according to the topics it intends to deal with. The request for services will be made by the sectoral representative and the Citizenship and DSU service.
Duration and accompaniment
The Councils are installed for a period of 3 years.
The Restricted Animation Committee, led by the Sector Coordination Assistant and associating the CCS Co-Chairs, meets regularly and provides ongoing monitoring of all files.
The Animation Committee will consider an ad hoc evaluation of the mechanism, in particular to verify the proper implementation of the Charter. It will also ensure the relationship with other consultative bodies in Grenoble: Consultative Council of Grenoblois Foreign Residents, Advisory Council of the Elderly, Local Council of Childhood and Youth and Advisory Council of Urbanism.