Brittany: the "Val d'Ille" territory and the Covenant of Mayors

Communauté de Communes du Val d'Ille
Published by Jean-Luc François on 08. 03. 2013

The "Communauté de Communes du Val d’Ille" and the Covenant of Mayors : a four years long way towards full action plan

The Communauté de Communes du Val d’Ille (Val d’Ille community of municipalities) gathers 10 municipalities located in Brittany, in the Ille et Vilaine Département, north-west from Rennes City (400 000 inhab).
With 19 000 inhabitants on a 16 000 ha area, CCVI shows an historically hedged farmland, barely hilly and wooded landscape, which can be considered as a peri-urban territory. As it is been experiencing a steady demographic growth since 1970, its economic activity mainly consists of agriculture (breeding) and services (commercial area), with significant daily transport flows towards Rennes.

When it was established 15 years ago, CCVI enshrined in its articles solidarity and sustainable development, reconciling economic dynamism, well-being of the residents and ecology in all decisions. In this pioneering territory which has written in 2007 a local Agenda 21 commitment, the CoM was the opportunity for the new mid 2008 elected intermunicipal team to federate the initiatives taken by each municipality, launched since 2006 for some of them. Hence, new intermunicipal competences have been voted, like soft modes of transport.

The CoM accession process was completed in 2011 only, because some important efforts to do explaining and support work among the representatives of each municipality about stakes and consequences of the CoM commitment have been required.
With a strong action-oriented vision, CCVI has gradually given itself some human means to support its initiatives and projects with a staff of 5 intermunicipal officers today, including one person dedicated to the CoM and the others contributing to the action plan as a cross-disciplinary team.
CCVI’ ambitions extend actually far beyond the CoM criteria. The challenge of becoming a positive energy territory by 2030 already appeared in the electoral proposals of 2008 ! To move towards this objective, the CCVI made the choice of organising its actions through a voluntary Territorial Climat and Energy Action Plan, although this was not required by French regulation.
Thanks to its projects in the fields of public buildings, wood-energy, photovoltaics, organic farming and consumption, the CCVI was ranked among the semi-finalists of the 2011 Champions League. In 2012, it joined the European project GreenFit relating to activity areas, in the frame of the Interreg IV A programme, and received the Britanny regional sustainable development trophy for its mobility policy.

According to Soazig Rouillard, in charge of mobility and Territorial Climat and Energy Action Plan within CCVI’s Development Pole, the CoM has been in this already rich context barely used as technical support mean or help network. CoM webinars for example look more suitable for large communities. Likewise, financing solutions offered through the CoM can not either be employed because they are dedicated to large-scale investment programmes.
In the end, the main benefit to the CoM was its federating and boosting effect : it allowed the visionary CCVI’s representatives to encourage and popularize their ideas and projects, revealing their modernity.

The CCVI and the Covenant of Mayors

1993: Creation of the Communauté de Communes du Val d’Ille
2007: Local Agenda 21 writing
Mid 2008: Election of the new intermunicipal representatives team
End 2008: Accession to the CoM
Beg 2009: Signature de la CoM par M. Cueff, CCVI’s president, in Brussels
2011: Completion of the SEAP and all municipalities accession process