British Embassy Outreach Meeting – Perigueux

Despite very short notice it was possible for a member of our committee to attend the above meeting on the evening of 21 June 2019.
 
The subject of the meeting was: Information and Events for British Citizens in France.
 
Clearly the organisers had encountered  several problems in arranging the meeting at which the main speaker was Mr Tom BARRY from the Paris Embassy, ably assisted by Philippa.  When we arrived at the venue, the room to the Salle de Réunion was locked, and at 17h45 when the room was eventually opened all chairs were found to be were stacked up and it was necessary for us (the guests) to assist in setting out the lines of seating.
 
After an introduction Mr Barry invited questions from the floor  and, unsurprisingly the subject of Carte de Séjour took pride of place, followed by Carte Vitale; Permis de Conduire and pensions.
 
Tom Barry answered all the questions to the best of his ability ,but with the uncertainty if the identity of the next Prime Minister looming , it was difficult to extract firm and definitive advice.  This is understandable.
 
One point raised by our committee representative on behalf of the Franco British Network  (FBN) related to the way in which invitations to the event had been issued.  One of our members had been told by a client that an email had been received concerning the 21 June meeting, but none of our committee had received any direct form of notification.
 
Mutterings around the hall showed agreement to, and a lack of satisfaction with, this situation.
 
As we work closely with the Embassy in Paris, and more specifically with the British Consulate in Bordeaux, we find this to be of some concern, particularly as the majority of the participants were retired individuals.  Very little commercial interest  was present.
 
Both Tom and Philippa indicated that there is no data base at the Embassy/Consulate  of British Expatriates in the Dordogne (or elsewhere in France for that matter) and it is the intention of the FBN to intervene to assist on putting right this omission.  Tom is most interested in how the FBN can assist, but it must be realised that this will be a lengthy process.
 
The good news was that the Préfecture in Périgueux has confirmed the re-opening of their guichets to deal with Carte de Séjour requests – albeit at a restricted rhythm – whilst a question mark remains on other points pending the identity of the next occupant of No 10.
 
John Beynon, Vice President, The Franco British Network

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