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Resigned, the town planning assistant points to the responsibility of the mayor of Marseille


Officially, it was a letter sent by the prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône to the various left-wing mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, on March 13, 2023, which caused the dismissal of Mathilde Chaboche, assistant to town planning , whose sudden resignation, at the beginning of May, surprised the political world as well as that of town planning. Since 2000, the law obliges municipalities with more than 3,500 inhabitants to have at least 25% social housing. Marseille shows 22%. The State had never worried about this situation but, this spring, it threatens to place the city in default procedure.

On May 10 at the end of the afternoon, Benoît Payan summons his assistant, a figure of the Mad Mars citizen movement and an important cog in the Printemps Marseille. A meeting ” rough “, says the person concerned – in the presence of the former mayor who became first deputy, Michèle Rubirola –, during which Mr. Payan forced her to resign. Its responsibility for the construction deficit is mentioned. But the elected official insists above all on a possible conflict of interest of which he accuses him of not having kept him informed.

“Red rags… A mechanically orchestrated quarry”rewind Mme Chaboche, who, Tuesday June 6, comes out of his silence. A few days earlier, the now simple municipal councilor joined the Ecologiste et pluriel-s group, one of the components of the Marseille majority, while writing their four truths to her former partners of Mad Mars, the citizen collective which helped in the victory of the left in 2020. In this letter, she accuses them of having “lost their fundamentals” and warns: “It’s the Marseille Spring that is dying before our eyes, swallowed up by the old parties and their old recipes. » ” Today [à Marseille], there is a shift towards a hyper-personalization of power. Our citizen movements are becoming the useful idiots of derelict political forces, whose only mantra is re-election”, she denounces.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Le Printemps Marseille cracks against the backdrop of the housing crisis

Spring cleaning

When she was appointed, this urban planner by training began by restoring order. “Marseille is 30% private roads, buildings without permits, unsanitary housing, a social and climatic emergency and, faced with this, real estate production focused on its private interests. » At the town hall, the cult of small arrangements reigns, as confirmed by the French Anti-Corruption Agency and the Regional Court of Auditors in their reports. The new assistant upsets those who are used to raising their building to 12 meters when the text says 8. “I hear that I’m going too far, that I’m stiff as justice. » Without hesitation, she demolished the car parks built in place of gardens, tracking down any extensive interpretation of the rule. These deviations can have serious consequences in a city built on clay and in the basements traversed by leaky networks. “Buildings have been weakened because of illegal work on the neighboring building”, says the former urban planning assistant. In three years, the prosecutor of Marseille receives nearly a thousand files.

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