Tag: Orihuela Costa

Residents protest over neglected Costa

Local residents and business owners from Orihuela Costa met on Friday to protest over the
neglect of the Costa by the municipal government in favour of Orihuela City and parishes.
The main bones of contention were the disproportionate allocation of budgets, particularly
the funds raised from the sale of land on the coast, the majority of which will not be spent
here. The on-going issues with rubbish and garden waste collection were also high on the list.
As was lack of maintenance and cleaning of parks and green areas, replacing of the bus stop
removed from La Zenia, completion of the Emergency Centre in Orihuela Costa, suppression
of the AP7 toll and more parking areas to replace the ones ‘stolen’ from residents from the
Villamartin road.
The demonstration was organised by Movimiento Cuidadano La Zenia (La Zenia Citizens
Movement) and was attended by around 100 people and called for a ‘A Fair Budget for
Orihuela’.
Association President Félix Arenas addressed the crowd and claimed that the Town Hall
collects more than it invests in the coast. He noted that on the group's Facebook page they
have more than 2,000 followers and most send photos of the deplorable state of the area.
The residents are sick of hearing the same promises, some even repeated word for word by
politicians in response to their complaints, he added.
Cuidadano claims the Coast receives an unfair, almost nonexistent share of the budget and
there is no transparency when it comes to replying to letters and complaints from individuals.
After the speech outside, the crowd moved inside the Town Hall and continued the
discussion.
The protest came hot on the heels of the reaction from The Federation of Orihuela Costa
Associations (FAOC), which has called the 2017 budget produced by Orihuela Town Hall “a
fiasco for the way it fails to respond to residents’ needs”.
They criticise that the coast continues “to suffer an important lack of police officers and street
vendors continue to run rampant, which offers a deplorable image”.
The Federation said they were “really disappointed” that services like rubbish collection and
street cleaning “will keep going from bad to worse because they have been assigned so little
money”, and said the budget for beaches is “totally insufficient”.
They also complained that there was nothing in the budget for the Multi Cultural centre,
“which has been announced so many times”, and nor is there anything to reinforce the staff at
the Centro de Participación Ciudadana (Citizens Participation Centre).
The FAOC concluded by reminding that “all these deficiencies, which have not been resolved
since so long ago that we cannot even remember, were presented to the mayor in September
last year during the Participative Budget campaign. Now it is clear that was all merely just a
marketing campaign”.

Orihuela Costa cheated again

The Popular Party/Citizens government has announced a programme of investments to be approved in a plenary meeting of the Orihuela Town Council this week. The investments result from the sale of municipally owned land, almost exclusively in Orihuela Costa, before 2005 and in the period 2012-2014. The total is €6.3 million.
The Mayor stated in his announcement that these important investments would respect the agreed distribution of 40 percent for Orihuela Costa, 30 percent each for the city and surrounding villages of Orihuela.
This sounds like good news. However, local political party C.L.A.R.O claims that this is not the case. The formula of 40 percent for Orihuela Costa will only apply to the land sold between 2012 and 2014 for a value of €3.7 million. The land sold before 2005 for a value of €2.6 million will be, in rounded sums, distributed as follows: Orihuela City – €1.36 million which is 52 percent, surrounding villages – € 755,000, 29 percent and Orihuela Costa – € 385,000, just 15 percent.
The so-called sacred formula for Orihuela Costa’s share of investments, agreed by all parties in 2012, with strong support from C.L.A.R.O’s councillor at the time, to compensate for the historic discrimination against Orihuela Costa, with the resulting deficiency in infrastructure and services, is being completely ignored.
This should not be a surprise to those living in Orihuela Costa. A package of so-called “priority investments” for €1.3 million announced in May, allocated Orihuela Costa with the derisory amount of €57,000, equal to 1.3%.
Discrimination is one thing Orihuela Costa is used to. The coast contributes something like 60 percent of the total revenue of the municipality and receives in return less than 10 percent of expenditure.
A C.L.A.R.O spokesperson said: “To pretend that the governing Popular and Citizens parties are respecting the agreed formula of 40 percent of investments for Orihuela Costa is shameful deception. It is equally shameful that municipally owned land in Orihuela Costa was sold to developers for house building when more houses are not needed and will only lead to a greater number of people sharing the existing inadequate services and infrastructure.”
As to the investment projects themselves, Orihuela Costa will have nothing to compare to the major project to convert the concrete cover over the high speed rail lines in Orihuela city into a leisure and green area at a cost of over €1.5million. The investment money coming to Orihuela Costa will be spent mainly on upgrading streets and pavements and parks and gardens. A strong argument can be made that this expenditure should not be regarded as investment but should instead come from the normal budget for maintenance. After decades of neglect instead of proper maintenance, this new money will amount to no more than a drop in the ocean.
 
Walkway
Around €500,000 will go towards improving the coastal walkway between Cala Capitan and Cabo Roig. No one can question that this is necessary; part of this coastal walkway was closed for 4 years because of the danger to pedestrians from falling rocks. A considerable sum has just been spent to prevent future rock falls. C.L.A.R.O and other associations on the coast will be watching carefully to see that the €500,000 is additional money and results in real improvements.
It is bad news that the principle of a 40 percent share of Orihuela Costa in investments is not being fully respected by the PP/Ciudadanos government.   It is even worse that the government parties are claiming that they are doing so while, in fact, they are slicing and dicing the principle and in the process, merrily cheating Orihuela Costa out of its rightful and necessary share of municipal investments.

Alternative festival

The Alternative Festival (Alternative Fest) will be celebrated for the first time in Torrevieja on the 5 th August. Information about this new event was presented
at a press conference and the festival has been organised by the department
of youth. It will take place in las Eras de la Sal between 5pm and 1.30am the
next day.
There will be workshops, creative activities, music, raffles, food and a
programme of activities and events for all the family. One of the children’s
workshops will be making instruments from recycled materials and these will
later be played in a concert.
The groups who will be playing include El Seko Band, Dr. Falma and La
Bongo and the Cuban Rxnda Akozta will also be taking part. It will cost nine
euros for a ticket but this also includes something to eat and a donation of one
euro to la Red Solidaria Popular. Children under 12 can go for free.Tickets
can be obtained from Origami art Tatoo (Orihuela Costa), Monroe’s Music
Pub (Torrevieja), Pub Labohémia (Guardamar). More information is also
available on Facebook.

Emergency Plan for Costa parks and gardens

The Orihuela councillors responsible for Services on the Coast, Luisa Boné, and Infrastructure, Juan Ignacio López-Bas, have announced that more people have been added to the team of municipal staff working on the emergency plan for the maintenance and recovery of Parks and gardens in Orihuela Costa. Additional support has become necessary due to the need to attend to many more public spaces than originally planned. The sheer size of the task at hand for both departments is considerable and the councillors are een to achieved as much as possible during May, with the beginning of the summer season inching closer and the coast already seeing the number of visitors increase over recent weeks.
Councillor Lopez-Bas said that “in view of the state in which the coastal parks were found it has been decided to temporarily transfer two Infrastructure staff brigades, one of four people from parks and gardens and another from works, also with four people, to expand and accelerate the task of restoring green areas in Orihuela Costa”.
Councillor Boné pointed out that “the reinforcement on the coast by the Infrastructures Department is much needed and necessary, especially at this moment in time, before the summer when the coast begins to receive more residents and tourists”.
Several public green areas have already been tackled and this has made a substantial improvement. These include Urbanisation Horizonte, La Florida, La Zenia, Los Dolses and Las Piscinas, among other areas. Both councillors said they positively value the work already done through this emergency plan for Orihuela Costa which has been carried out as the first major project on the coast since the the Ciudadanos councillors joined the government team at the end of January.
Councillor Bone said: “We want people to begin to notice an important change in the public spaces of the coast of Orihuela. This is a change of image that must be maintained and endure over time with more allocation of material and manpower from the 2017 budget.”
 

Budget insult again

Budget insult again for Orihuela Costa
 
The Popular Party-Citizens government has produced a draft emergency budget to be approved this week providing for what they call ‘priority investments’.   Nearly half way through the year, the budget for 2017 has still not been prepared. The priority investments in fact respond to the government caving in to pressure from traditional voters in particular from La Aparecida, a 2,000 people village some 15 minutes from Orihuela city which has an unfinished multi-million euro civic centre.
Therefore, €900,000 of the €1.3 million emergency budget will go to the cost of finalising the civic centre of La Aparecida and €200,000 will go towards building a sports complex in another small village, Molins. Around €57,000 will be spent on fixing the drains in a city street. And Orihuela Costa?  Orihuela Costa will “get” €18,000 of the €1.3 million to pay for technical modifications which need to be introduced to the project, still years away, for our Emergency Services Centre.
Local political party CLARO is furious about the continued lack of funding: A spokesman said: “This is a ‘real’ priority project, which will be financed by the Valencia regional government, not by Orihuela Town Hall and has been delayed for 10 years.  It has denied us proper emergency services such as a local police service operating 24 hours a day, space for La Guardia Civil which are located at present in Pilar and an emergency fire service which is presently located in Torrevieja.
“A civic centre in a small village near Orihuela is apparently a much greater priority than the multitude of needs of Orihuela Costa with a population equal to the city of Orihuela.  We desperately need clean streets and properly maintained parks and gardens no to mention other services and facilities including the crying need for a cultural centre providing facilities for music, theatre and space for social groups. Just €18,000 of a budget of €1.3 million is an insult.   It represents just 1.4 percent of the special investment budget.  It makes a mockery of the commitment made in the 2012 budget, drawn up by the present Citizens party leader, Mr.Lopez Bas, and supposedly supported by all parties, to devote 40 percent of investment to Orihuela Costa in recognition of the historical investment deficit from which the coast has suffered and implicitly, although this is never stated, in recognition of the fact that the taxpayers of Orihuela Costa provide some 60 percent of the revenue of the municipality of Orihuela.”
CLARO believes that 1.4 percent of the special priority investment budget shows just how low a priority are the needs of Orihuela Costa for this Popular Party Citizens government.
 

Cala Mosca under threat

Cala Mosca under threat
Coast's last undeveloped stretch threatened

The launching of a new public consultation procedure by the Orihuela Town Hall on the project to build 1,500 new houses on Cala Mosca, the last strip of unspoilt natural land on the 16 kilometre Orihuela coast with views of the sea, presents a new and serious threat to this emblematic area.
The consultation procedure on the revised project was announced just before Christmas and allows only until the end of January for comments and objections. There is an abundance of detailed material on the Town Hall website but it is badly presented, several of the items are empty of content or difficult to open. All this suggests that the aim is to rush through a procedure which will enable the developer to request the Valencia government for the final go ahead.
At first sight the revised project is not modified in any significant way. It provides additional protection for the two endangered species present on Cala Mosca but it is not reduced in scope or area and remains, as originally proposed, a project to build 1,500 new houses. If it goes forward, not only does this spoil the last green area and open space on Orihuela Costa; it will add significantly to the existing stock of some 50,000 properties and potentially another 5,000 new inhabitants to the Orihuela Costa population of 30,000 on the assumption of an average of three per house. This will significantly increase the income of Orihuela Town Hall with taxes on new built properties and rates but unfortunately local political parties believe that this additional revenue will not be used to provide the extra services and facilities which will be needed to cater for this population increase. They believe that it will be used by the Town Hall to benefit those living in the city and surrounding villages as it is these residents who provide the Orihuela political parties with votes in local elections. Those living on the coast and already experience deficient services and an environment scarred by neglected parks and green areas, and will now bear the brunt of the burden of this extra population.
Coastal political party CLARO, which has campaigned for years to save Cala Mosca, is concerned at this latest development and is joining forces with organisations that are dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of Orihuela Costa, in particular the Federation of Associations of Orihuela Costa and other active federated associations.
The Cambiemos political party in Orihuela, which has actively supported the coast on important issues previously, has taken a lead on this matter spelling out what lies behind the consultation and is joining the fight to save Cala Mosca.
The combined action group will meet soon to consider its strategy in what will be a very important and crucial moment to try and save this emblematic area from the destructive development being planned. The group is calling on members of the local Orihuela Costa community for support and commitment, knowing that they have always rallied to defend this last green, open emblematic space in the past and need to do so again once and for all.
 

All change at RBL Orihuela Costa

 
The Royal British Legion Orihuela Costa and District Branch held its Annual General Meeting recently, attended by the Chairman of District North Nigel Hails. Long serving Chairman Keith Carter stood down along with committee members Peter and Jean Breen, Pam Armatage and Sheila Asbury.
These were replaced by Kevin Reardon, who is serving his second term in the chair, along with Ann Faulkner, Sandie Coates, Jean Heald, Malcolm Cavendish and Shirley Johnson, while members Eddie Coleman, Tony Blackband and Dave Cottom continue in their current roles while Pastor Keith Brown remains as Branch President.
With the Poppy Appeal over for another year, and the branch having raised more than 35,500 euros in 2015, is currently finalising its totals for 2016. Poppy Appeal Coordinator Eddie Coleman said it has been another bumper year and is hopeful of excellent fundraising figures.
If you would like to find out more about the Royal British Legion all are welcome to go along to the next meeting, which will be held at the Olympia Restaurant, Mil Palmeras, on the evening of Thursday 15th December. Join in with the informal carol sing-a-long and you might even get a mince pie for your troubles. For further information visit: www.branches.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/orihuela-costa
 
 

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