Make sense of… your local French Mairie

In a survey of more than 15,000 people for the Association des Maires de France, three out of four people said they believed their mayor does a good job. We explain more about this key community role and also what a mairie does

The mairie – the mayor’s office or town hall – has a key role at the heart of every community. For British residents and homeowners in France, especially in rural areas, it is useful to know what actually goes on inside the smartest building in the village...

Mainland France is divided into more than 36,000 communes, each of which has an elected maire.

The most important person in a village or town, the mayor, is referred to as Madame le maire or Monsieur le maire (for language enthusiasts, the masculine le maire is because it is referring to the office of the mayor and not the person).

An annual political confidence ‘barometer’ by the university Sciences Po shows that year after year mayors are the only elected politicians as a group attracting more than 50% of general confidence.

Sciences Po researcher Bruno Cautrès said it ...

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