Tag: Council

Bicycle parking

The Department for the Environment is encouraging locals and holiday-makers to get on their bikes,
with the installation of 38 new bicycle parking racks. The Councillor for the Environment, Miguel
Ángel Fernández explained that the racks will be located throughout the municipality.
"It is a need that exists in downtown Orihuela, on the coast and in the districts, and had already
been requested several times to the City Council by interested third parties," said the councillor.
The Councillor was accompanied by the director of the Official School of Languages, Sergio García,
who thanked the City Council for the installation of one of the first bike parks at the school and
wanted to add that "it is a clear commitment to the environment, mobility and trust in which
someday we have to expand this area ".
The bike racks will be installed throughout the month, with a total of 16 allocated in the districts: in
La Murada (School, the sports centre, Avda. Marqués de Lacy, the Church Square and the municipal
sports centre), in La Matanza (Barrio de los Garcías, Health and Pharmacy Centre, Church Square and
the district of the seven houses), in Virgen del Camino (in front of the School and the Health Centre),
in La Campaneta (Social Centre, Medical Office, Pharmacy and College), and in San Bartolomé (in
front of the school, sports area and animal shelter).
The Councillor told of how important the installation of bike parks were on the Coast "where we will
place eleven bike parking racks in Alameda del Mar Civic Centre, at Punta Prima Beach, Flamenca
Beach Shopping Centre, La Florida Mall, IES Playa Flamenca, Los Dolses, Mil Palmeras Beach, at the
Reading Point in C / Cipres, at Playa Flamenca Esplanade and Zeniamar Centre".
In addition, a total of eleven will be installed in Orihuela centre on Avda. Príncipe de Asturias (School
of Languages ​​and Health Center Álvarez de la Riva), in Marqués de Rafal Square (municipal library
Fernando de Loaces), Hernandiano Corner (Miguel Hernández house) ), Plaza del Carmen, Oriolet
Street, Brotherhood of the Resurrection (sports track), Mayor Vicente Escudero Street (new Health
Centre), Teodomiro Avenue (Speciality Centre), Avda. De la Estación and Plaza San Sebastián
(Auditorium of "La Lonja").
Miguel Angel Fernandez wanted to emphasise that "little by little, with small gestures like this we
continue to adapt our municipality to the use of bicycles and to support the use of non-polluting
means of transport. He took the opportunity to remember that "shortly we will present the activities
of the European Mobility Week, where cycling is also part of the planned actions".

Casino controversy continues

The casino in Torrevieja is currently at the centre of an argument between its members. The disagreement is over when there will be elections to select its board of directors. The lack of consensus has now erupted into accusations by a member of the casino association during a presentation by its vice president.
The vice president, Rosario Soler, was the target of the verbal attack whilst presenting the programme of cultural activities for the coming year on 10th September. A member of the audience got to his feet and accused her of lying. The presentation had followed the normal course of such an event until the end when Rosario asked if anyone had any questions.
At this point, a member of the audience, got to his feet and asked ‘When will there be a general meeting to choose a new president?’. The vice president then explained that an election had been suspended due to a leak of data which could leave them vulnerable to crimes under the protection of personal data legislation. Until this was addressed, no election could take place.
The aggrieved member, Alfonso Esteve, then accused Soler of lying, following which the press conference was suspended and Esteve asked to leave the building. The subject of the press conference, the casino diary for the coming year, was overshadowed by the outburst.
It has been suggested that some of the disagreement about the election comes from deep-rooted sexism and the wish to prevent a women taking the presidency for the first time. The casino is over a 100 years old and an iconic landmark that is closely guarded by those who are members there. It also hosts a number of cultural events and talks, which the press release had been intended to promote.
Although the building is open to the public and many tourists it is also considered to be a haven for its members who have privileged seats and other benefits. Presiding over the building is now being hotly contested and there doesn’t seem to be any agreement in sight.

Torrevieja requests clarity on Plusvalía

The local council has presented a motion to the national government in Spain
asking for clarification of the situation regarding collection of Plusvalía tax.
This is the tax collected by the town hall from the seller when a property is
sold. How much Plusvalía is payable depends upon the property’s rateable
value and the estimated increase on the land’s worth since it was first
purchased.
There have been problems with the tax in that it has been charged even
where people have not made a profit on selling their property. However, they
have still had to pay the tax on an alleged increase in the value of the land
even though this has not translated into a capital gain for the person selling.
Recently cases have gone to court and some sellers have received their
money back. Now, tax collection agencies such as SUMA are refusing to
collect the tax due to the uncertainty of the situation.
This loss of tax revenue is having a major effect on town councils, particularly
ones like Torrevieja where the transfer of property has always been a major
source of income. In 2016 the town council collected €18,970,765 and this
reduced to €8,785,960 in 2017. A loss of €10,183,611. In 2016 the collection
of Plusvalía represented 19.5% of the total revenue of the city to 9.68% in
2017.
The situation has become even more acute because not only are collections
reduced but money has been paid back. In the last four months of 2017,
€282,964 was collected but €980,509.82 had to be returned which represents
a loss of €438,430 to the local budget. The continued loss of this income will
have a significant impact on the town’s ability to finance its projects.
The motion that the town council has submitted, supported by SUMA,
requests that the Spanish government amends the current law to better reflect
the actual increase in the price of the land, where such an increase exists.

Council website more accessible for people with disabilities

The Councillor responsible for the modernisation of administration, Miguel Ángel Fernández, has
presented a new service that will facilitate the improvement of accessibility and usability of the City
of Orihuela’s website.
The councillor explained: “Nine percent of people in our country, about 4 million, have some
disability. From this Council, and working alongside the Department of Social Welfare, with
accessibility forefront of mind, we thought it important to work so that this sector of society can
have the same opportunities to reach all of the municipal services on our website.”
"The most appropriate platform to provide this service, both for quality, performance and price, was
the InSUIT platform," Councillor Fernandez explained. "The issues that most interested us were
firstly that it will not require a modification of the web page, and secondly the possibility of being
used from any computer and for free."
Technical assistance will be provided to those with decreased or lack of vision, difficulty in mobility
of hands and arms, speech difficulties, or cognitive or intellectual disabilities. In addition, it will also
facilitate navigation for the elderly, users with reading difficulties or with few digital capabilities.
The person using the website will only have to use the tab enabled in the website to activate this
service, which will provide instant access to the set of tools needed for navigation, which allows the
user to adapt the aids to their needs and preferences.
In addition, the website will be optimised for navigation for people with reduced visual capacity and
will read the content to the user, can receive voice commands or any sound to navigate without
using their hands, or will allow navigation through the keyboard and without the need for the use of
the mouse.

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