June 2017:

From the June Newsletter...

Quiz Lunch

The quiz in April was held at a new venue to the BAV, the Bastide de Tourtour at Tourtour. The lunch preceding the quiz was held in the recently constructed conservatory which offers outstanding views of the surrounding countryside from this elevated position.

The lunch was delicious, fine cuisine as to be expected of this venue, with a courgette soup starter, followed by sea bream and fennel and then apple crumble, all beautifully presented.

33 members and friends attended with 28 entering the quiz which was written by Shirley Rowson, who was unable to attend, and therefore presented by Michael Wharton. The clear winners on this occasion were Bill and Jeanne Ashwick, Neil and Diane Green and Kevin Bell, who won bottles of wine.

Thank you to everybody involved in this event for their support.

Boules and Croquet in Nans

A group of 20 members met at the home of Ian and Debbie Taylor in Nans les Pins on 11 May to enjoy a morning's croquet and boules on the extensive lawn. Strangely, despite arranging this event in the west of our area for the locals, all of the attendees were from some distance away.

The morning was cool and fresh but despite the occasional later light drizzle everybody thoroughly enjoyed the event with Gillian Dyer and Philip Davies winning the croquet and Shiona and Brian Anderson winning the boules.

Considerable disappointment was expressed by BAV boules group members that non group members won the boules! The group then retired to the adjacent Nans Les Pins golf club for an excellent lunch. Everyone expressed their delight with the venue and service and enjoyed lunch, which comprised a tomato and mozzarella starter, a delicious chicken with gratinated potatoes and a vanilla ice cream with strawberry coulis and langue du chat. With wine and coffee included, it was a fine finish to the day. Thank you to Ian and Debbie Taylor for the use of their delightful home.

French Driving Licences

If you have one of the old paper licences without an expiry date, there is no need to exchange it until 2033, even if your address has changed. If you have a new credit-card style licence, this lasts for 15 years and is a standard EU format.

You are not obliged to change the licence if your appearance has changed, or if you have moved house, although you can if you wish. Licences only feature the surname, so if a woman’s surname changes due to marriage or divorce, she can opt to change it.

Renewal does not require a medical. It is done on application to your prefecture with a short form in duplicate on which you tick to renew due to “expiration de la durée de validité de titre”. You will probably have to supply the usual documents: passport, passport-style photos, recent utility bill..

Cycling helmets

Since March 2107 it has been mandatory for all children under 12 to wear cycling helmets. Non-compliance incurs a 90€ fine for the parents.

Proof of Life Certificates

Following recent articles about these, and local Mairies refusing to complete forms in English sent from the UK, here is the link to the corresponding form in French which can be signed by the Mairie and sent to the UK.

The first form is for those who can attend in person and the second is a proxy form for those unable to attend.

Is your pool declared?

One commune in Lot-et-Garonne has found an easy way to boost tax income. They used Google Maps to check properties with pools in their area, then matched them up to their list of declared pools. They found that 500 were on the list but a further 300 weren’t – people who had built a pool without authorisation and were not paying the extra taxe foncière or taxe d’habitation.

As a result they recouped 100,000€ from unpaid taxes from the previous year, although they could not claim retrospectively as they could not prove when the pools were built.

An above-ground pool does not need a building permit unless greater than 10m² or higher than 1.80m, while an in-ground pool over 10m² but under 100m² requires a “déclaration prélable”. A pool larger than 100m² or which has a cover higher than 1.80m requires planning permission.