Home      Guy Romain


Conseiller Général, Vice-President of the Communauté des communes du Pays du Camembert, maire of Vimoutiers, hands-on businessman ... Guy Romain takes all this and much more in his stride. “I’m fortunate in that working under pressure has never bothered me,” he says with a disarming smile. “Getting stressed simply isn’t in my nature.”

Having held the office of Conseiller Général since 1998, M. Romain saw it as the natural next step for him to take on the duties of Maire as well. He stood for election in 2008 and was elected by a clear majority.

He stresses that he is first and foremost a businessman. As the owner of two successful hardware/white goods/bricolage/gardening stores (Catena Romain in Vimoutiers and in Argentan), making crucial business decisions is second nature to him. And he’s still at the sharp end; despite his many commitments in public life he has no intention of taking a back seat in his business, and under his attentive eye both shops have continued to thrive despite the difficult trading conditions. He believes that it is partly because of his track record in business that Vimonastériens chose him as Maire; the town recognised it needed a person with proven business acumen, somebody who was not afraid of taking difficult decisions, to take over and run its finances.

Certainly there have been visible improvements in the town in the last two years. Most striking, perhaps, the Halle au Beurre, which prior to 2009 had been standing sad and empty directly opposite the Mairie on the town’s main square, has been transformed into an impressive glass-fronted Médiatheque. Pavements and roads have been improved. But the invisible changes are just as important. For instance, one of M. Romain’s first actions as Maire was to orchestrate a radical reorganisation of the town’s catering services, which were running at a loss; his scheme to combine the hospital’s catering provision with the municipal kitchen has resulted in greatly improved efficiency and halted this drain on public finances. And M. le Maire is doing everything in his power to hold back the tide of rising unemployment in Vimoutiers and the surrounding area. During the summer of 2009 he passionately opposed the closure of the Pamco factory in Alençon, and the plight of job-seekers remains high on his agenda.

In March 2009, M. Romain’s decision to award himself a 40 per cent cut in his salary as Maire, and reduce the salary of his adjoints by 10%, attracted considerable media attention. He explains: “The town is heavily in debt. I felt I had no right to expect other groups within the commune to tighten their belts unless I was prepared to set an example."

Vimoutiers is home – or second home – to many British families, and M. Romain appreciates the fact that a considerable number of them take an active part in community life. “Some of them have set up businesses here, and several are on the town council,” he says. “The British families in Vimoutiers tend to integrate well.”