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As part of its contribution to regional planning, one of its four public service missions, Le Groupe La Poste is developing close collaborative relationships with local authorities, founded on listening and dialogue and which draw on special tools and bodies.
The objective of collaborating with elected officials is to provide consistent postal service coverage across the whole country in light of changing demographics and lifestyles.
Currently, Le Groupe La Poste and elected officials together are rolling out postal coverage adapted to recent changes and, in particular, to the need to revitalise rural areas, which have experienced population growth of 12.5% over the past ten years (including French overseas departments), meaning a growing need for services. Public outlets will also be modified to suit changing usages that have arisen alongside the growth of digital technology. Tablets are currently being rolled out in local postal agencies in order to increase access to online services for all (postal services, public services, and local services).
The foundations of dialogue and collaboration are laid out in a local postal coverage agreement. A resources fund - the national postal territorial compensation fund - is devoted to organising postal coverage to serve local authorities.
The local postal coverage agreement is signed between the French government, the French Mayors' Association (AMF), and La Poste for a term of three years. It sets forth a provisional sum for compensation fund resources, provides a plan for service accessibility, fixes the scope of use for the compensation fund, establishes resource allocation rules, and defines local postal coverage governance rules.
The fourth agreement covers the 2017-2019 period, and follows the agreements of 2008-2010, 2011-2013 and 2014-2016. The provisional total of annual resources is going from 170 to 174 million euros, making a total of 522 million euros over the life of the agreement. Just as for the previous three, the ambition of the new agreement is to reduce regional inequalities in terms of access to services.
Continuity can be seen in the aim of modernising the La Poste network and the development of partnerships, particularly via the pooling of services;
Greater orchestration with communities is established in order to advance postal coverage;
Digital accessibility is strengthened with innovative training and usage support initiatives.
To get all the information about the new agreement, see the infographics and video about our 2017-2019 local postal coverage agreement special report.
The resources of the national postal territorial compensation fund are available thanks in particular to easing of local taxes, which La Poste benefits from in return for its regional planning mission. This tax reduction, which the French government does not offset for regional authorities, is applied both to the regional economic contribution (CET) and to property taxes. This incentive* therefore constitutes a “non-expenditure” for the company. The fund is amassed in a specific La Poste account and La Poste is in charge of handling its accounting and financial management.
Generally, the scope of use for the fund has been redefined and narrowed, in order to keep it stable regardless of changes to institutional scopes (inter-municipalities, new communities, etc.). The fund resources must now be directed to public outlets, which must be consolidated as part of regional planning. This now represents 10,000 establishments: shared post offices (public service centres in post offices and postman-counter clerk offices), local and inter-municipal post offices, merchant pick-up points, offices open fewer than 18 hours per week, urban public outlets that fall under the French urban policy programme; and public outlets in French overseas departments.
The total annual resources allocated by the French government via the compensation fund amount to 174 million euros. That is four million euros more than in the previous agreement. In particular, this increase makes it possible to cover 75% of the cost of establishing 500 public service centres (MSAPs) hosted in post offices.
The CDPPTs have autonomy in managing the compensation fund.
The annual resources allocated to digital technology must represent at least 15% of the overall departmental allocation; this represents 75 million euros over the life of the agreement, or 30 million euros more than provided for in the previous agreement. Five per cent of the overall allocation may be used for local experiments.
In response to needs expressed by elected officials, Le Groupe La Poste has established regional offices since January 2008 to strengthen its regional presence. A given regional officer is the Group's representative in that region. He serves as a unique point of entry and is a key contact for elected officials and socio-economic entities in the region. The regional relations officer serves as the link to the departmental level. He represents La Poste at CDPPT sessions and coordinates action across La Poste’s various activities in the department.