Issued on: 10/03/2020 – 17:21Modified: 10/03/2020 – 17:21
Frances local elections get underway on March 15, but hundreds of currently serving town councillors will not be on the ballot. No longer European Union citizens following Brexit and so ineligible to hold office, British elected officials across the country are being forced to step down.
There are around 760 British councillors in towns across France, many in communities popular with expats from the United Kingdom. Some have been living in France for decades and serving on their town councils for years.
But unless they take French citizenship, or that of another EU nation, this will be their last term in office. Only EU citizens can stand or vote in the country's local elections.
“Because a village has shown you so much support and been so warm, it was really an honour to feel that there was possibly a way that you could give something back,” says Maggie Gorman, who has been on the town council in the village of Sainte-Alvère in the Dordogne since 2001.
“Its not bragging but I got more votes than any other member on the list. And that was just such a show of faith and confidence and trust that now it just feels terrible.”
Mark Lawrence, who is on the council in the nearby town of Plazac, will also be stepping down after this months elections.