Category: Local

Three weekends of music

From 24 th June to the 7 th July there will be music by the sea on Saturdays and
Sundays. On the Paseo Juan Aparicio and by las piscinas naturales on the
front there will be musical entertainment from 8.30pm until 1 in the morning. It
will be a varied collection of musical types including bands from Australia,
Nepal, Colombia, France and Spain.
The initiative is being organised by the department of culture and will be free.
Councillor Domingo Pérez announced that it will consist of music from all over
the world. The only common factor will be the care that is taken to select
those taking part and their quality.
The event will begin on Sunday 24 th June with the group ‘Candeleros’ which
consists of Colombian and Venezuelan musicians followed by a session of
tropical/ electronic dance music by the Colombian duo ‘Guacamayo Tropical
DJs’. This type of music brings together new sounds that have taken over the
dance floors in the capital with more traditional Latin American and electronic
music sounds.
On 30 th June the music will continue with the performance of ‘Ed is Dead’ from
Madrid who will present their latest album ‘Your Last 48 hours’ which has
been acclaimed by critics and the public as the best electronic album of the
year in Spain. The band leader, producer and DJ will close the day with a
session that should delight electronic dance lovers.
The final performances will be on 7 th July with Nepal from Katmandú. This
band brings together the rhythms from the west, jazz and rock together with
the Nepalese tradition and music that takes us to the magical world of the
‘Lolo Lovina’ is a band of gypsies from Sydney Australia who perform a
mixture of swing, tango and even heavy metal. To conclude will be the French
DJ ‘DJ Grounchoo’ one of the main characters in the nightlife of Barcelona,
Río de Janeiro, Berlin, Rome and many other places. He will present a
session that includes ska, punk and Latin and electronic rhythms.

Machu Picchu climb for Rojales horse sanctuary

Four years ago, expat Elaine Sission visited Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales and
was blown away by the sight of 90 rescued equines, all happy and well cared for. However,
she was shocked by the stories of abuse, starvation and neglect the rescued horses, ponies
and donkeys had endured before being rescued by Sue and Rod Weeding, the centre’s co-
That same year, Elaine made a pledge to help the horses and ever since she set herself a
major personal challenge to raise funds – this year, she’s pledged to complete the difficult
Machu Picchu climb in Peru.
“I was inspired by the dedication and hard work of Sue and Rod, making a huge difference
to the lives of equines and doing everything in their power to rehabilitate them and help
them recover from their abusive past,” said Elaine.
In 2015, she completed a sky dive; in March 2016, the unstoppable volunteer trained to
walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks; and in June 2017, at 60-years-old, she completed the
gruelling Tough Mudder endurance event.
Elaine also often holds teas, sells cakes, and organises raffles and fashion shows at her local
pub to help the horse sanctuary. To this day she has single-handedly raised more than
€4,000 for Easy Horse Care.
The sexagenarian again visited the centre in March this year and got the opportunity to
meet the centre’s official grandma, a recently rescued old mare named Beauty. The
battered mare needs special shoes to relieve her ruined legs, which inspired Elaine to set
herself another challenge and raise more funds for the centre.
“In August 2018, I will climb Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ll do the four-day Inca Trail,” said
Elaine, who has been training non-stop in the UK.
“Knowing the horses will live the rest of their lives in the comfort and safety of the rescue
centre makes me very happy.”
Donations to Elaine's fundraiser can be made online at:
Elaine’s Machu Picchu donation will be very timely as the centre recently rescued a family of
horses (a mother, son, daughter and auntie). The latest addition means that the sanctuary
now has to provide for almost 120 equines.
“I’ve made Sue and Rod’s motto mine: you can't save the world by saving one horse but you
can change the whole world for the horse that you save,” said Elaine.
So far she has helped change the world for 120 horses and counting – and Sue and Rod
couldn’t be more grateful.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre relies entirely on donations to fund its important animal
welfare work. Donations of cash or items for the centre’s network of six charity shops across
the Alicante province are gratefully welcomed. A pick-up service is available to collect large
donated items such as furniture and each shop also offers a delivery service for large items
purchased in-store.
Anyone interested in making a donation, becoming a long-term sponsor, or volunteering at
the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre or in the charity shops can call Sue on 652 021 980.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, located just outside Rojales at Partido Lo Garriga, 59,
opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. A free horse
tour with centre co-founder Rod Weeding begins at 2pm and refreshments are available in
the café. For more details and directions, For regular updates,
follow on Facebook at@EasyHorseCare.

Local police refuse to work overtime

The unions of the Orihuela Local Police have announced that their officers are not going to
work any overtime or work the established hours to cover events until an agreement is
reached over a series of improvements they have been proposing for several years.
In a statement they warned they are also considering “more serious measures which for the
moment will not be applied”. The unions explained “we have been trying to negotiate with
the Town Hall for years but so far nothing has been resolved”.
Their demands are as follows: Restore the 10 vacant places and take on as many additional
officers as possible under the law to meet needs; Scrap the process to hire Mobility Officers
and use the money to create new Police Officers. Regarding part-time officers, they demand
equal pay on different scales, a regulation to cover second jobs, compliance with agreed
working conditions, a committee to negotiate, establishment of minimum hours.
Councillor Mariola Rocamora said the system for covering events (sport, culture, social and
fiestas) is vital to guarantee people’s safety and was agreed to by unions, allowing officers
to volunteer for six hour shifts during the year and be paid €207 for each one.
She indicated the law allows large towns to appoint council workers who are not police as
Mobility Agents to direct traffic.
The union reps met with Councillor Rafael Almagro on Friday as a first step towards starting
negotiations. Unions warn events may not be able to go ahead, particularly in villages
and Orihuela Costa
“Not working extra shifts will mean less officers are available each day and at weekends,”
explained SPPLB union rep Francisco Cánovas. “If there are not enough then activities will
have to be postponed unless somebody wants to take responsibility in case something
The police force currently has about 140 officers but the unions calculate more than 200 are
needed to cover the whole municipality.
They say the creation of Mobility Officers to direct traffic “makes no sense” because they
could not issue fines and so “would be like any citizen who can call us if they see a drunk
driver but cannot fine them”.
Another meeting has been scheduled for next week.

‘If it wasn’t for Help at Home…I would be dead'

“If it wasn’t for the care, help and support from the charity Help at Home Costa Blanca I
would be dead now. There is no doubt they saved my life.”
These are the words from Martin, 62, who lives in Quesada. Martin hit rock bottom
after his wife, Denise, died in 2015, and a whole chapter of events afterwards dragged
him further and further towards taking his own life.
Thankfully a friend told Martin of the charity and urged him to get in touch – and bit by
bit his life began to turn a corner. A support team was set up helping Martin through
one crisis after another, and this month Martin went to the monthly meeting of
volunteers from the Quesada branch to personally thank them, and particularly the
three volunteers Steve and Margaret Jones and Tony Popplewell who were his main
Martin (we’re not giving his surname or address to preserve his identity) and his wife
ran a pub/restaurant in Derby and decided to emigrate to Spain to enjoy an early
All was fine for the couple until Denise fell ill with septicemia. She died on New Year’s
Day. But tragedy did not end there. Five months later Martin lost his pet dog, Sandy,
and then his best mate died five months after that and finally his father, who lived in
Canada, died.
If all this wasn’t enough, Martin was involved in a head-on car crash in April, 2016, and
suffered crushed legs. He had to be cut out of the vehicle because the engine has been
pushed back into the cab, and spent six days in hospital with months of recuperation.
Then, in June last year he suffered a stroke and was hospitalised again, this time for
eight days, and although it did not affect mobility, it resulted in his losing much of the
sight in his eyes for a time. In January this year he suffered a fall, breaking his wrist.
While in hospital doctors found he had a thinning of an artery and he would need a
stent. They tried to insert it through his groin, but found another blockage and he has
had another operation to insert the stent through his neck. Luckily Martin’s medical
problems were covered through the health care system.
As well as one medical problem after another and the loss of his wife, pet dog, friend
and father, he also faced a severe financial problem, caused by an insurance company
he thought he was covered by.
When he applied for settlement from the insurance on the life of his wife, the
company kept stalling, claiming that she had an on-going medical condition which
precluded settlement.
Months of legal argument followed but without success. He decided to put his house
on the market so he could pay on-going bills, but then discovered his passport had
expired, which stopped him selling, and he hadn’t the money to pay for a renewal.
This is where Help at Home came to his aid. They were already taking Martin here
there and everywhere – to the hospital, doctors, doing his shopping and sorting out
other day to day things.
But then the charity paid for the passport renewal and postage costs and the charity’s
solicitor put pressure on the insurance company and another solicitor, and finally a
settlement was reached, giving Martin a healthy settlement and financial security –
after three years of anguish.
It meant he no longer needed to sell his house.
Martin said: “There were so many things going wrong, one after the other. Thank
goodness Help at Home were there. They sorted things out and finally I was able to see
light at the end of the tunnel.”
Martin now wants to give something back to society. He said: “I thought I had friends
but when the chips were down some friends didn’t want to know. They all deserted
“Also the gossip and rumours did not help me. After my head-on smash some people
said I tried to commit suicide or I had alcohol in my blood, which were both not true
just malicious gossip.”
He added: “Thank goodness there are people in this world like the ones who give up
their time voluntarily to help others. Without them this world would be a terrible
“I have got my strength and my health back. I need to go to the dentist to sort my
teeth out, but I now want to work for Help at Home so I can give something back and
help people less fortunate than me. Perhaps I could do some painting and decorating,
or some gardening.”
And now Martin has got a new circle of friends – people who he can really call friends.

Family fun for ALPE

Yvette Cooper and Jan Harding are organising a huge charity event to raise money for
ALPE school for children with special needs. Jan is a Zumba instructor and together,
she and Yvette go to the school during October through to the end of May and teach
Zumba. The children go wild when the two ladies walk into the hall, and Yvette told the
Costa Blanca People, “We do two 45 minute classes, and the smiles on their faces make
the exertion and sweat worthwhile!”
The fundraising family fun event takes place on 16th June at Lo Crispin Tavern. Yvette
explained, “We have live acts from 11am doing 30 minutes each, BigFM will be
broadcasting live for us. We have a psychic medium, cake stall, various craft stalls, a
massive tombola, raffle with nine meal vouchers to be won amongst other things, guess
the teddy’s name, guess the number of sweets in the jar, skittles, pub jenga, pitch and
putt, bouncy castle for the little ones – it is going to be a great family day out.”

Orihuela Mayor denies false earnings

The Mayor of Orihuela Emilo Bascuñana has hit back at claims he has been taking money for a job he
hasn’t been doing. The Mayor claims the story is a ‘campaign to discredit’ him over a six year
position with Valencian Health Department
The story was published exclusively by and accused him of having taken a public wage
from the Valencian Health Department in Alicante between 2007 and 2014 – but not actually going
to work.
The PP Mayor told the media this was “absolutely false” and that he is contemplating legal action
against those responsible.
“I’ve done nothing irregular, nobody is paid a salary month after month of they don’t do their job,”
he said. had claimed that Snr Bascuñana was paid 14 instalments of €3,973 per year for the six
years he was assigned to the Health Department in Alicante, although it could not be confirmed he
went to the office every day.
The Mayor responded, saying that “some things leave a trace but others are harder to prove”.
According to him he was advising the Health Department and working as a doctor at different health
centres around the Vega Baja, a fact he said that “thousands of people he attended to can back up”.
“I’m not the one who has to prove I worked, but others have to show that I didn’t,” he said.
He put the “fake headline” down to a “smear campaign” by “someone who wants me out at any
price”. He pointed out that the claims come a year before the municipal elections, a time when the
PP has to announce a candidate.
He also said: “It worries me and I seriously question who and how this someone has had access to
my personal data.”
Before the Mayor’s press conference the spokespeople for the opposition parties – PSOE (Socialists)
and Cambiemos – had demanded explanations from him.
“It is a shame that Orihuela is being linked with corruption again,” said Socialist Carolina Gracia, who
made the point that Bascuñana was supposed to have been “someone clean to repair the corrupt
image” of the municipality.
Cambiemos said the allegations are “extremely serious” if true, while Ciudadanos, the PP’s partners
in the council, wanted to be prudent and here Snr Bascuñana’s explanations before doing anything.
Juan Ignacio López-Bas said the Valencian Health Department was also being “accused of paying a
salary for no work”.
PSOE said that it will ask for explanations from the Valencian Health Department to clear up what

Nature reserve to be created in Bigastro

La Pedrera is to be preserved against building for everyone to enjoy as Bigastro town
council starts the procedure to create a Nature Reserve in the area of La Pedrera and La
Loma de Bigastro.
This will enable the whole area of great ecological, natural and historical value to be
protected in the future and avoid and type of threat from building, according to Councillor
Antonio Meseguer
This natural space, which has also recently had its recreational area repaired, will have
added attraction after this declaration. He said the council is trying to improve the town’s
open air recreation, environmental appearance and educational offer, as well as its tourism
La Pedrera is visited by many people from all over the county of the Vega Baja, and the
Town Hall considers it to be the green lung and a balcony onto the province.
Meseguer announced they hope to fulfil this objective before 2019. “It is important and we
are going to work like a forced march to make this space protected, conserved and
improved once the Nature Reserve declaration is obtained”.
At the moment the Valencian government has the proposal on the table and now its
technicians will have to visit Bigastro to define the area to protect and lastly, once they have
compiled all the graphic material, it will be brought before the municipal council which has
to give its approval to the initiative and make it official.

May Fair irregular payments investigated

The organisation ‘La Casa de Andalucía’ has admitted that it allocated eight of
the 28 plots assigned during for the May Fair by mutual agreement. Now the
town hall has opened an enquiry into the irregular arrangements made during
the contracting of the May Fair or Feria de Sevillanas 2018.
It is being alleged that La Casa de Anadalucía Rafael Alberti collected eight
200 euro sums to reserve the plots where the marquees would be installed for
the festival this year. Altogether there were 28 plots available.
It is also being claimed that the money was used to provide services in the
days running up to the fair including the emptying of septic tanks and renting
the generators to provide the electricity during the event. The payments were
made in cash and were outside the terms and conditions of the official
The May Fair attracted thousands of visitors during its five days duration and
is organised by the town hall who contract a third party to administer it. The
council do not have sufficient resources of their own to organise the detail
around the festivities. In 2016 this job was taken over by the La Casa de
Anadalucía Rafael Alberti but in 2017 and 2018 the contract was awarded to
another organiser who acted in collaboration with the Casa de Andalucía.
The contract for organising the fair this year came to 113,000 euros and those
given the contract have assured the newspaper ‘informacion’ that there was
no authorisation given to Casa de Andalucía to perform this kind of
management task. The allegation continues that the money was paid to
reserve the plots in a way that breaches contract conditions.
The town council has now asked the contractor for a list of data of all the
marquees on the site during the fair and the type of contractual arrangement
that was agreed. They have also asked for details of the exact arrangements
for assigning the plots of land for the marquees.

Lidl to scrap all plastic bags by end of year

Supermarket chain Lidl has announced plans to stop selling plastic carrier bags altogether
in its stores – even smaller transparent bags for weigh-your-own loose produce such as
fruit and vegetables.
The German retail giant says it will replace five-cent plastic carriers with multi-use raffia
bags at 50 cents, and recycled paper bags will be provided for loose goods.
Raffia bags are plastic-coated, but recycled, and are hard-wearing and designed practically
for lifetime use, meaning they do not create toxic waste in the same way as traditional
supermarket carriers do.
At a press conference in Madrid this week, chief executive Claus Grande said this would
come into effect before the end of 2018 – even though it would mean a €1.5 million dent
in Lidl's takings.
The company will see its income from bag sales fall by 30% as a result, but is 'committed'
to the changes, says Grande.
Lidl has already stopped providing plastic bags at its stores in the Balearic Islands.
According to Grande, nine in 10 Lidl customers in Spain are in favour of the move.
A European Union directive means member States are not allowed to sell lightweight
plastic bags from the year 2020, but Lidl intends to go beyond these requirements,
stopping at least a year early and eradicating all plastic bags, not just the light ones.

Eagle owl rescued from Elche motorway

Guardia Civil traffic officers rescued an injured owl on the motorway in Elche. The rescue took
place early on Thursday morning on the A-7 when a member of the public reported seeing a
potentially injured owl on the motorway. A nearby traffic patrol made its way to the area and
managed to rescue the animal which had suffered a broken wing, presumably due to being hit
by a vehicle. Officers rescued the eagle owl and handed it over to Seprona, the environmental
wing of the Guardia Civil, where it was later transferred to a special recovery centre in Santa
The eagle owl is a species in danger of extinction and of a high ecological value. It is hoped that
once the animal has recovered from the injury at the Santa Faz Species Recovery Center it will
be returned to its natural habitat if they deem appropriate. According to statistics from
previous years, three quarters of the animals that are brought this centre are released at a
later date.

Time is running out for your tickets!

It’s nearly time for Stagestruck’s latest show. This year’s summer production
is ‘From a Jack to a King’ and will be particularly enjoyed if you’re a fan of
1960s music. There are three performances at the Cardenal Belluga Theatre
in San Fulgencio on the 17 th , 18 th and 19 th May. The script is an original one
written by Leigh Humphries.
This musical comedy is set in the East End of London in the late 1960s and
the opening scene is in the Hope Pub which has seen better days. You get to
meet some local ‘characters’ including Danny and Tommy – the die hard
regulars and Johnnie Bigg who is initially mistaken for a stripper. The show
takes us through the next four years and the changes in the characters and
their surroundings.
You will recognise your favourite actors, once more treading the boards. The
lead roles of Harry Grimes and Daphne Brown are played by Jim Speakman
and Jenny Dexter and they’re supported by a cast of 21. It’s a story of triumph
over adversity but with plenty to laugh at along the way.
It’s only €8 a ticket and proceeds from ticket sales go to a selection of local
charities with the main charity being Torrevieja Alzheimer Association. Tickets
are on sale at The Post Box, Quesada, The Post Room, Benijofar, The Card
Place, Benimar, Cards and More, La Marina, Kennedy's Supermarket,
Montesinos and Leaf's (Formerly Marabu Lounge), Quesada. Alternatively
you can reserve tickets by calling Leigh on 679679584 or emailing

Pop Goes the Choir return

After last year’s successful performance ‘Pop Goes the Choir’ from Burnham
in England are returning to Torrevieja. They will be singing on Sunday 13 th
May in the Paseo Maritimo Juan Aparicio, next to the Hombre del Mar. Their
performance was announced by Councillor Carmen Morate as the first event
this year in the Feria de ONGs or Charity Fair. An ONG is an officially
registered charity in Spain.
Different charities will have stalls in place on the paseo between 11am and
2pm on the 13 th May. On the stalls there will be information about what the
different charities do as well as opportunity to sell some merchandise.
Councillor Morate has asked voluntary associations and charities to sign up to
the event. ‘It is important that people can see what you do,’ she explained.
One of those charities attending will be Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre.
They will have a stall which includes information about how they help
abandoned and abused horses. They will be happy to answer your questions
and explain more about what they do. There will be t-shirts available to
purchase along with pictures and books too.
Pop Goes the Choir will be performing on the day at 12.45pm. This isn’t the
only performance they will be making. You can also see the choir in the
Casino on Friday 11 th May at 8.00pm and in the Paseo Juan Aparicio by the
Hombre del Mar on Saturday 12 th May at 7.30pm. The group perform songs
from the 50s to the present day in their own unique style for free.
The choir cover lots of well-known music from Queen to Madonna and have
been together since 2010. Some of the choir members have links with
Torrevieja and for this reason have chosen the town for the second year
running as a venue to share their music. They are a not for profit organisation
and they usually perform in the UK for different charities. Currently they have
120 members altogether and last year around 50 made it to the Costa Blanca
to entertain the crowds here too.
You can find out more about the choir by visiting their website