Category: News

La Mata Town Hall feels Forgotten

La Mata might officially be classified as part of Torrevieja, but it also has some of its own distinct facilities, including its own branch of the town hall. However, residents there have felt for many years that they are the forgotten neighbour when it comes to the provision of services and some have even called for La Mata to be registered as a town in its own right.
Now, the latest concerns voiced relate to the town hall in La Mata itself. Those using it claim that councillors in Torrevieja have forgotten the public building and that it is being neglected in comparison to other buildings in Torrevieja, for example.
Some of their concerns include the lack of provision of drinking water, toilet facilities that remain unrepaired and unusable, an automatic door that doesn’t work properly and air conditioning that doesn’t work. Some of these deficiencies mean that those working there sometimes have to abandon their stations, to get a drink, go to the toilet or just to cool down.
Due to the type of windows on the upper floors, council workers sometimes feel torn between opening them for ventilation or keeping them closed for security reasons. There are also problems with the internet and telephone lines meaning that sometimes workers resort to using their own mobiles to make necessary calls.
Now, demands for the repair and maintenance of these offices are growing, amid allegations of neglect of this council building

Local charity makes new ambulance possible with €31k donation

Local charity Help at Home Costa Blanca (HAHCB) has donated a staggering €31,000 making up the total needed for the Cruz Roja to buy an ambulance to be used across the Vega Baja. The fundraising was undertaken in memory of well-known and much-loved charity volunteer Kathleen Vahey who lived in Orihuela Costa passed away a few years ago.
The cheque presentation took place at the Emerald Isle, La Florida, where HAHCB holds its weekly charity market. Many of the charity’s volunteers were present as was President Carmen Perez, Charity Secretary Patricia Muirhead and Charity Fundraiser Silvia Sakir. The Cruz Roja was represented by Andres Ramon Alonso, President of Cruz Roja Orihuela and Antonio Navarro, President for the Alicante Region.
The original campaign aimed to raise funds for a disability van, however, as HHCB neared the final amount it became clear that a disability van was not really what the community needed and also that running the van would be a drain on the charity’s resources. So, the charity met with the Red Cross and discussed it needs. When the organisation said what would really make a difference was a new ambulance – they only last 10 years and the Cruz Roja vehicle has had its day – the volunteers threw themselves into even more fundraising. In total, the vehicle would cost around €60,000 but the Cruz Roja would also raise money towards this very worthy cause. The ambulance will have the HAHCB logo and ‘in memory of Kathleen Vahey´ as part of its livery.
It took two years for the charity and its volunteers to raise the €31,000, and it was done through many different fundraising events and initiatives. These included: weekly markets at the Emerald Isle, fashion shows, Christmas markets and dinner dances with the Campo Verde Reef band. In 2017 HAHCB was named as the nominated charity at the Cabo Roig St Patrick’s Day Parade, Villamartin Plaza also held a fundraising event for the campaign and there has been continuous support from local groups such as the Red Hat ladies, The Rendezvous girls, and many other generous private and group donations.

Finca Castellana going the Green Mile

It is always busy at Finca Castellana in San Miguel, but the last few months have been particularly manic. The cattery team has been inundated with requests for help with feral cats and kittens. They rescued a kitten, which was on its way to the airport…in a car engine! They also had to scale a chimney to retrieve a Mummy cat that had given birth to three kittens inside of the chimney and were unable to get out.
In addition, the volunteers have just started a project called ‘The Green Mile’ to raise funds to pay for the release of dogs and puppies from Cereco where they are waiting to be put down. Up to date the charity has rescued 34 dogs and re-homed 29. It intends to make this a permanent project helping as many dogs as possible from certain death.
One of the volunteers, Beccie said: “After years of rescuing hundreds of animals, people’s cruelty still shocks us all sometimes. Eight, one-week-old puppies, were dumped in a shop doorway, tied up in a plastic bag. Luckily for them, a group of youngsters came across them and took the bag straight to their Mum, who contacted us just in the nick of time. “Unbeknown to the dumper, the shop had CCTV and the man in question was identified and the police sent to his house. We are now awaiting a court date for the man to be prosecuted for cruelty. The great news is, all of the eight puppies have gone to a forever home.”
More good news came for the charity as Finca Castellana opened its new charity shop in the Filton Centre, Los Balcones, open Monday to Friday, 10-3.30pm. For more information or to make a donation please see Finca la Castellana on facebook, visit: or call Janette on 610451133.

Baby Summer School

More than a hundred babies and toddlers aged from 0 to 3 years old have started Summer School in Orihuela and on the coast. The Councillor for Education Begoña Cuartero visited the Municipal Children’s School in the hamlet of La Murada to mark the start of ‘Baby Summer School’ which also began at several other schools across the municipality including the Palm Grove in the city centre and the E.I. Planetarium in Orihuela Costa.
The Councillor for Education said: “The objective of these summer schools for the little ones is to provide families with care for children during the summer holiday months, to enable parents to balance work and family life. In addition to creating natural environments and a playful and fun space, it was also important to facilitate learning and promote group and social development.”
The hours are from 9am to 1.30pm except in the EI Planetarium on the coast, which is open from 9am to 5pm and also has a dinner service.
The City Council of Orihuela subsidises each of the places with an amount of 50 euros per month, with the full price being 100 euros, except in the E.I. Planetarium which is 210 euros due to the longer hours and food provision. The number of places offered is 50 places in each of the nursery schools with a total of 150 places across the municipality. A total of 140 place had been filled by the time the Summer Schools opened their doors.
The Councillor for Education added: “It is about creating welcoming environments in which a series of recreational and formative activities are developed, which facilitates a creative and fun use of free time during the holiday period.” She has also appreciated the confidence shown by the families who have booked places throughout July.

Los Infiernos Perrera is inundated with over 50 fifty pups in a week!

Cruz Azul Murcia has stepped in to help local charity, Caminando con Ellos  (CCE) at Los Infiernos Perrera, who have been inundated with abandoned pups. “We received a desperate plea for help from the charity.” said Cruz Azul President, Lyn Baines. “The Cruz Azul volunteers all voted to ring-fence some of our donations to help local rescue charities, who work so hard to deal with the problem of abandoned animals, and we were able to make a donation to CCE to help with vet fees.” Although Cruz Azul exists to help pet owners on low incomes with vet fees for their pets, they are also active in helping urbanisations to manage cat colonies, as well as campaigning for no kill policies in local perreras and encouraging people to have their pets neutered to reduce the abandonment problem in the Murcia region.
Seven of the pups were left in a box, by a bin, in Torre Pacheco, where they were blindly running about, but they are now safely in the care of CCE and Los Infiernos Perrera Supporters (LIPS). In the past week, Los Infiernos Perrerahas also taken in 8 Galgo puppies with a mum and another mum who came in with one pup, who is also feeding the Galgo babies. As if that wasn’t enough to cope with, a mum with 10 pups of her own and a further ten pups arrived the next day, so CCE and LIPS now have in excess of 50 pups to take care of and find homes for!
Some of the pups have had their first vaccination and are looking for loving homes. The biggest problem is that, if they don’t get homes when they are little and fluffy, they become adult dogs that stay in Los Infiernos for years. “We have more than 200 dogs to take care of at the perrera and it costs a lot to do that. We have very few volunteers, but we do our best to make sure that they are socialised and walked each week” said a spokeswoman for LIPS. “It’s a constant battle, with people even putting pups in a bag and throwing them over the wall of the perrera, so we desperately need funds to cover food and vet fees” she said.
If you can help by giving LIPS a donation or if you want to volunteer or can adopt a dog, please contact:
Cruz Azul Murcia is a registered charity (No. 11.720/1a)and exists to provide veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of people in need and to promote responsible pet ownership.
If you or someone you know needs help, or you would like to volunteer or donate, please call 693 017 616 or visit their

El Chicle to take part in reconstruction

Reconstruction of the murder of Madrid sixth-former and model Diana Quer took place Friday, for which the killer will be taken from his prison cell in order to participate.
Juan Carlos Quer and Diana Cristina López-Pinel, parents of the 18-year-old who went missing on August 22, 2016, and her sister Valeria – who was 16 the last time Diana was seen alive – have successfully applied to the court for a reconstruction as part of their private prosecution against José Enrique Abuín Gey, 42, alias ‘El Chicle’.
The accused initially claimed he accidentally ran Diana Quer over when the teen was walking the two kilometres back to her family’s holiday villa in A Pobra do Caramiñal (A Coruña province, Galicia) a house the Quer sisters had spent every summer in since they were aged one and three respectively.
Police found no evidence of Diana’s being knocked down, accidentally or otherwise.
After this, ‘El Chicle’ changed his story, claiming he strangled her ‘accidentally’.
He at first refused to testify, but his varying versions when interrogated included his having tied Diana by the neck to the passenger seat headrest with the reins from a bridle, and then in another account, had tied her up and put her in the boot.
Abuín Gey now denies raping Diana, but earlier had admitted he ‘tried’ and that she had fought him off by ‘kicking constantly’.
A high-profile search for the student from Pozuelo de Alarcón went on for 16 months, with the family and even some investigators believing she was still alive and either kidnapped or had run away from home.
But her naked body was found down an eight-metre well, submerged in water, in the port town of Rianxo some 20 kilometres from her holiday home, on New Year’s Eve.
Initially, Abuín Gey’s wife Rosario, now 30, claimed she had been with him all evening on August 22 and that they had ‘gone out to steal petrol’ because they were ‘broke’.
More recently, however, she confessed she had stayed at home all night and her husband had ‘returned, changed his clothing and left again’.
Abuín Gey was reported to have raped Rosario’s twin sister when the women were 17, but been talked out of reporting him.
The court has recently decided to reopen the case as they believe it mirrors Diana’s fate.
Abuín Gey was caught after attempting a near-identical kidnap of a 33-year-old Ecuadorian woman in the Rianxo area, who was rescued in the nick of time by passers-by when she was about to be locked in the boot.

Fun event to launch dog website

If you go along to Tipsy Terrace in Hondon de los Frailes on Friday 22nd June between  10:00am and 12:00noon you will find more than just coffee and cakes.
La Casa Canina is putting on a dog agility show to demonstrate different levels of
training from an experienced dog through to a young pup just learning how to
jump…and go through hoops!
Expert agility dog handler, Diego Martinez, will show how it should be done with his champion border collie Enya. Following this Danny de Castillo, the acclaimed assistance dog trainer, will then ask his own dog to demonstrate an amazing range of obedience and skills.
Guests will also get to meet and pet a selection of some of the beautiful dogs that have been abandoned and rescued and who are being cared for at Barkinside, a rescue sanctuary based near La Romana and Novelda. There will be a couple of stalls where you can purchase all things doggie and a range of general items including jewellery.
This fun packed morning will delight any dog lovers whilst at the same time introduce everyone to the new website which showcases all the abandoned and rescued animals in their care.
Of course the morning would not be complete without a grand raffle which will have great prizes including a large basket full of goodies and lots of wine.
So come along to Tipsy Terrace on the 22nd June and have a great time, everyone will be made welcome.

Bike for Life 2018

On Saturday 23rd June 2018, the Pink Ladies are hosting a Bike for Life bike ride. Sponsored by Costa Blanca Bike Hire, the event starts at 10.30am and starts and finishes at the Olympia Bar in Mil Palmeras.  The Bike for Life event is approximately 10km and aims to raise money for the AECC and Maria and the Pink Ladies.  The course is a mainly flat route and has been designed in such a way that all the family, young and ‘mature’ can take part.  All you have to do is raise a bit of money. Don’t have a bike? No problem.  Bikes will be available for hire from Costa Blanca Bike Hire for €5 – all of which will go towards money raised.
For more information or a sponsorship form, please call David on 655338066, Maria and the Pink Ladies on 965329841 or Santi on 649153829.

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.