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New city council chief calls for fiber optic expansion instead of highways

Thursday, December 28th, 2017 | bitcoin updates

          
    
    
    (Picture: Uwe-Brandl.de)
                
            
             The future head of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, Uwe Brandl, wants to promote broadband expansion. For financing he proposes austerity measures in road construction.
            

        

        Public authorities, companies, schools – the new president of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, Uwe Brandl (58, CSU), wants to promote the digital expansion. If necessary, other topics would have to be left behind, he told the German Press Agency. Brandl is mayor of the Lower Bavarian town of Abensberg and will take up his new post on 1 January 2018.
Digital expansion means creating the technical conditions and training people to deal with it, said Brandl. "We need broadband expansion, we need fiber-optic technology." He also wants to be involved in the coalition negotiations, because as a rule, representatives of the umbrella associations would also be included after a certain negotiation phase. He said it would be a good thing "if you agree to the Telecommunications Act that broadband coverage is a basic supply of the population".
According to Brandl, the administration in public authorities and companies must be rapidly digitized. There is also pent-up demand in schools. "It's not just about citizens no longer having to go to office in the future." The range of topics is diverse, starting with good archiving software and going up to the training of teachers in dealing with interactive boards, so-called digital whiteboards.
Glass fiber instead of asphalt In response to the digital expansion, for example, in the repair of roads to slow down the pace, of course, associated with risks, said Brandl. "To weigh and find the right mediocrity is important."
The lawyer Brandl, who holds a doctorate in law, has been mayor of the 14,500-inhabitant city of Abensberg near Regensburg since 1993. In 2003 he was elected President of the Bavarian Municipal Council and Vice President of the Association of German Towns and Municipalities.
Now he is looking forward to his new post: "It's a different league," he said. The diplomatic practices in Berlin are different. "It's a challenge, where you do not talk things so directly, as a Niederbayer you're used to articulating very clearly where the hell is." But he is not new, he said, but for several years as Vice President on the German level on the road.
One-to-one syllabus He finds the diversity of the countries exciting – but there are also within Bavaria. Bavaria is also heterogeneous, from rich to poor, from big to small. "We too have the issue of rural exodus on the outskirts of Bavaria, and we also have 600 municipalities that are struggling to survive at the subsistence level." At the federal level, it was similar, there are small-scale countries and then "the great challenge North Rhine-Westphalia" with giant communes. As one commune goes over to the other, "and the community of 500,000 inhabitants speaks of the rural area to which it belongs".
Other big topics are brandl according to education and integration. Teacher education needed to be harmonized, curricula adapted to each other, and unified school software introduced, he said. The question of integration deals, among other things, with the rental market, where locals and refugees compete for apartments. Citizens expressed their frustration in an election – so they must be shown "that they are an important part of society and that it is dangerous to vote extreme right or extreme left, as we have all experienced in our history."
Brandl – father of a 20-year-old daughter and author of several children's books – has many topics on the agenda. Whether it is helpful for his new office, that he comes from Bavaria? "Not necessarily, we are considered to be a couple who know and know much better – the latter is true."

 (Ute Wessels, dpa) /

(Hag)

      

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