Gaëlle Lévêque, mayor of Lodève: “My priority remains to improve people’s lives”

Gaëlle Lévêque, mayor of Lodève: “My priority remains to improve people’s lives”

Gaëlle Lévêque, near the Grand’Rue office: “Here, we say hello to each other in the street, no one is invisible.” PCa

Elected on the wire in June 2020, socialist mayor of a fragile territory, the mayor of Lodève does not let go of her passion for the city and its 7,300 inhabitants. Interview with a woman who matters to this territory.

What a major achievement since your arrival at the head of town hall in 2020 ?

We should only remember one ? (short pause) Urban renovation. This is the best way to transform the city in the medium and long term. I have been working there since 2014, when I was already town planning assistant to Marie-Christine Bousquet (1).

Why is this essential ?

Urban renovation responds to my priority: improving people's lives. The innovation of the “Zero unemployed territory” system, which made it possible to sign nearly 150 permanent contracts, is part of the same approach.

"This year: the City Stade de Grézac"

In this year 2024, what is your flagship project ?

There is of course the inauguration of the bell tower of Saint Fulcran Cathedral, on Saturday April 20. But this is the culmination of a file lasting more than two years! For this year, the major project will be the requalification of the City Stade de Grézac, to move away from all-concrete. I made it our 2024 greeting card for the Lodévois.

Some claim that you are the "mayor of an endangered territory"…< /p>

Not at all! It is rather a special territory, with half of the inhabitants of the city center, or nearly 1,600 people, living below the poverty line. But Lodève is a living area coherent with all the surrounding municipalities. A city with services and a hyperdense associative fabric. We come to settle there because it’s “a city of possibilities”. And we have the most beautiful media library in the world!

You have also been a departmental councilor since 2019: why did you get involved in politics ?

I joined the Lodève municipal team in 2008, directly linked to the personality of Marie-Christine Bousquet. There was no plan. Then I developed a taste for public action.

"My only business card is Lodève!"

We know your closeness to Carole Delga or Kléber Meskida: what is your vision of politics ?

I believe in change. I am convinced that we can change things through public action. And for that, Lodève is neither too big nor too small, which allows elected officials to remain in direct contact with residents and project leaders. Here, we say hello to each other in the street. No one is invisible.

Speaking of visibility, you were little known in the political world of Hérault four years ago: how did you make a name for yourself ?

My entry into the departmental council was the result of a situation. My only business card is Lodève!

As a socialist, how do you view the left today in France ?

It’s complicated. There are associations that don't speak to me. I remain in line with Carole Delga or Michaël Delafosse.

In the 2020 municipal elections, well ahead in the first round, you were finally elected by a tiny dozen votes… Good or bad memory ?

It was difficult.

Does this short majority complicate your mission as mayor today ?

I am of age. I am not afraid that the projects presented will be hampered. Basically, the opposition expresses itself very little today.

"The 2026 municipal elections ? Yes, of course, I will run"

On the department website, your file always states “Profession: actress”. Normal ?

(smile) Yes, I still consider myself an actress. But you know, I don’t have much of a life outside of town hall.

It is said that you are continuing with a troop towards Narbonne…

Indeed, I will be doing dramatized visits this summer to Narbonne. Just six short days.

Are you a morning person ?

It’s not uncommon for me to still be in town hall at 9 or 10 p.m. It’s intense. Especially since I took on a new responsibility with the vice-presidency of the Grands Causses Regional Park.

Time to read ?

Little. On the press side, I confine myself to publications concerning Lodève. On the literature side, I try to preserve some readings. Robert Merle, Barjavel… But, for literary news, I listen to the advice of the media library agents!

A little sport ?

Like, I'm running out of time. I'm more of a hiker: I'd love to be able to do more. Or even, like at one time, doing 7 km around Salagou every morning with my father and my dog.

Despite this commitment, will you run in the 2026 municipal elections ?

Yes, of course! There is still much to do.

And in case of failure ?

I will resume my life as an actress!

(1) Marie-Christine Bousquet died on November 15, 2017, at the age of 62, following a heart attack, when she had been mayor of Lodève for nine years.

Gaëlle Lévêque, mayor of Lodève: “My priority remains to improve people’s lives”

“I believe in change. I am convinced that we can change things through public action.” Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

The making-of of the interview

Gaëlle Lévêque arrives this Wednesday, with an alert step but without delay, at the office she provides every two weeks at 45, Grand’Rue. Without fuss, without an appointment, to "listen to Lodévois who mostly talk to me about housing or employment concerns". In the privacy of the small room near the town hall and the cathedral, the interview precedes the reception of those administered. "From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., but it’s often beyond, she specifies. There is a sheet for each person we meet: we don't have the answers to everything but we do our best."

I subscribe to read more

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(function(d,s){d.getElementById("licnt2061").src= ";r"+escape(d.referrer)+ ((typeof(s)=="undefined")?"":";s"+s.width+"*"+s.height+"*"+ (s.colorDepth?s.colorDepth:s.pixelDepth))+";u"+escape(d.URL)+ ";h"+escape(d.title.substring(0,150))+";"+Math.random()}) (document,screen)