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“29,985 people?  That's three million euros less than the subsidy": the merger of the municipalities of Hamm and Ticenderlo with a population of 15 | ham

“29,985 people? That’s three million euros less than the subsidy”: the merger of the municipalities of Hamm and Ticenderlo with a population of 15 | ham

Important / TissenderloThe combined municipalities of Hamm and Tisendirlo must have a population of 30,000 before the end of the year in order to receive an additional €3 million for their merger. The enumerator currently has a population of 29,985, 15 of which are too few for the surcharge.

A few months ago, the boards of Hamm and Tisendirlo decided to merge in 2025. As an incorporated municipality, they are entitled to financial support from the Flemish government. Only when the combined population of the two municipalities reaches 30 thousand by December 31, 2021 will they be entitled to €13 million. If the threshold of 30,000 inhabitants is not reached before that date, it will remain at €9 million in benefits.


The mayors of Hamm and Tessenderloe have shut down all stations in recent weeks to get 30,000 residents. Another campaign started on December 6: “The population of 30,000 and 31,000 will receive a gift voucher worth €500 to spend in local shops,” says Mark Hesselmanns (CD&V), Mayor of Hamm. “I understand that people don’t come that far en masse, but we can just try. In addition, we have visited several companies where we know foreign employees are working. We have tried to persuade them to settle anyway. I have contacted our social housing companies to accommodate the new residents. More quickly, I scanned all the real estate offices in the area asking about the next moves, hoping that everything would go faster after all.And if I noticed a “rent” or “sell” sign somewhere, I figured out who lives there, to see Whether the transition could have been faster. I even offered to carry the boxes. Until I realized it got a little pathetic,” Hesselmanns says.

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no exception

The goal of nearly 30,000 lives has been reached, but within five days Hamm and Tessenderloo have to find an additional 15 people. “We asked the Flemish government if they could make an exception because we’re so close, but we were met with a ‘no’. The rules are rules of course, but it’s a shame. With the extra three million we could have done a lot of great things,” it seems.

“The population is constantly fluctuating. Last week we were looking at 45 again, then 15 again, but we could now be in a number of 20 again. We have known for some time that it will be difficult to get to that head, so we We give in to him. We cannot force people to come and live here after all,” concludes Hesselmanns.

How far did the merger of Oudenaarde, Kluisbergen, Kruisem and Wortegem Petegem go in the meantime? More money, less politicians and the people’s voice.

After the municipal merger, now also the merger of associations? “Three years of double support if they do that”

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