Interview with Hervé Saison, Chair of the Departmental Commission on Local Postal Presence (CDPPT) for the Nord department, and Mayor of Hondschoote.
What is the Departmental Commission on Local Postal Presence (CDPPT)?
Hervé Saison : It’s a body for collaboration between La Poste and elected officials. It is composed of regional, departmental, and municipal councillors, with eight permanent members and eight alternates. It makes sure the provisions of the local postal coverage agreement are properly enforced. It advises on the network of postal outlets relative to communities’ needs. It adjudicates on initiatives that benefit from the compensation fund. At the national level, this amounts to 173 million euros, of which 3.4 million go to Nord per year.
What is your role as chair?
Hervé Saison : I have the honour of presiding over the largest CDPPT in France in terms of budget, with over 10 million euros spread over the three budgetary years 2017, 2018, and 2019. The chair’s job is to lead the team of elected officials, accompanied by La Poste managers. I have to listen to questions from elected officials in the region and give appropriate answers. I think I can carry out this mission with instruction and support. The members of the commission and I ensure that the three-party contract between the French government, the French Mayors' Association, and La Poste is properly fulfilled.
What actions of note were taken by your CDPPT in 2017?
Hervé Saison : In 2017, our commission approved major renovations to 18 post offices, such as those in Cateau-Cambrésis and Sin Le Noble, while ensuring equitable treatment of rural and urban areas. In 2017, La Poste opened 11 public service centres (MSAPs) in the region’s post offices, all the way from Cassel to Anor and Gouzeaucourt. The commission knows the digital divide needs to be reduced: we have invested in free-access tablets in 60 local postal agencies, computer stations in 11 MSAPs, and have trained staff to facilitate digital technology use, which for some users is clearly needed.
What is your timeline for 2018?
Hervé Saison : Following the opening of the Gouzeaucourt MSAP on 8 February, the ones in Anor and Renescure will also be opened. In addition, the commission will meet three times this year. The next meeting, which is coming up soon, will be to approve the annual postal network report and to verify that the clauses of the contract are being properly followed: 90% of the population must be fewer than 5 km or under 20 minutes by car away from an outlet (as a reminder, that figure was over 99% in 2017). In June, we will have a check-in meeting about the proper use of funds to modernise offices, collaboration with social partners (21 post offices in priority neighbourhoods of the city), and transformations in partnership with towns or businesses. Finally, at the end of the year, we will meet to create a report on funds used and to pre-plan investments for the coming year. Note that for over 10 years, Chairman and CEO of Le Groupe La Poste, Philippe Wahl, as well as his predecessor, have brought together the chairs of the CDPPTs of all the departments