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My email

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Boom and Beds

Firstly to let you now that that massive explosion yesterday afternoon was a sonic boom created by a military plane. At first I thought it was another earthquake but the TH disci¡covered it was a sonic boom. Shook my house!

Secondly a couple of you had asked about car provision for the elderly or infirm in Spain and what, as residents we qualify for. The system here in Spain is similar to the UK as this is provided by their version of Social Services. Twice a week a representative from Social Service calls into the Town Hall to meet for prearranged appointments with people who require some help. This can be anything from a meals on wheels type of support right through the whole range to full residential care. At this  first stage arrangements are made to conduct assessments of the provision required and the financial situation of the applicant. If the applicant meets the appropriate levels (there are 4 grades of decency) then the care is provided appropriate to that grade and finance is set at levels predetermined and dependent on the individuals circumstances. I hope to go visit a one of the care homes for the elderly in the net week or two. There is one in Albox but unfortunately the one which had existed in Vera has closed due to financial problems.

If anyone wishes to be considered for such support then please call into the Town Hall and we will arrange to try and provide as much language support as we can.

Secondly there is a commercial company who we have had for meetings before run by Kim Clark called UK Benefits in Spain which can provide further assistance in ensuring you can get any benefits you may be entitled even though you reside in Spain.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

1,000,000 Step Walk and Walking Football

Today we held the first organised walk in connection with the Junta de Andalucia´s getting fit programme.

42 people (about 50% Spanish and 50% english speaking) braved the coolish temperatures and enjoyed a very pleasant 7.66km circular walk. Supported by two vehicles, one of which carried the essential water and oranges. Energy drinks were also provided at the end of the walk.

The general consensus was that people enjoyed the walk and would like it to be regular event. I will discuss with Lola this week and try and make it a monthly thing. With regard to the million step programme this walk accounted for 13,500 steps so multiplied by 42 = 567,000 steps so we are half way there!

My thanks to Kath Gaskell for helping to organise the expat walkers.

Also in the way of fitness issues Ian Hamilton is to start his weekly session of walking football at the football ground near the pool bar this Tuesday at 1100. Se his poster below. This is ideal exercise for those of us over 55 as you are not allowed run!!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Following our meeting Wednesday evening and discussions today we are hopeful, that the work on the next stage of the motorway from Cucador to the ermita at Palaces, should commence before the end of the year. This will provide a new road for all residents, living to the North of Cucador, with a road which bypasses the old village. It is a shame that it could not have been completed before all the heavy wagons have been using it in connection with the upgrade to the track from Los Llanos to Almajalejo. The next stage though from the remit at Palaces to Ballabona may take some time!!

We have received many suggestions for the Provincial Plan and many reports of minor issues which require attention. I have agreed a new process by which we can manage these issues. I will meet with the councillor for Public Works each Friday and discuss or review each of the outstanding matters and so prioritise the attention needed. Please bear in mind however, that there are some parts of our municipality where we are embargoed from doing anything by the Junta or the courts.

I have and maintain a list of all small (less than a few feet) potholes or damaged road surfaces and areas requiring cleaning which I supply to the TH workers and will be included in the Friday meetings I have with the other councillors.

Some bad news which some of you may have already noticed. We have suffered infestation of the Palm beetle on our magnificent antique palm trees in the Plaza del Olmo with the result that the top of one fell down. We also need to remove one or two of the others and then decide what will be best to replace them with. That decision not yet reached.

We are also working on ideas to increase visitors to the area and are considering a broad range of options as ways of doing this. If you have any suggestions which you think are worth considering please let me know.

We are also looking a new smart phone application (which is already exists just needs amending) for reporting defects etc to the appropriate department. I have seen it in action and it is a great modern day tool for Town Halls.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jose and Meeting

Firstly Jose Manuel is out of hospital. He had an angiogram this morning and got the all clear and will be back in the office tomorrow.

Secondly we had a really interesting meeting last night which lasted for over 4 hours. We discussed many things prior to our future meetings to consider the budgets.

The things discussed included the Police, Cerro Lomo and the Molino, the Tanatorio, and many other suggested projects for the Provincial Plan and our own projects. We have now to consider these and decide which to try and progress. We are still open for further suggestions for consideration.  So if you have any ideas which you consider are worth submitting please let me have them.

Remember we have the walk this Sunday at 10.0am setting off from Zurgena centre. It is only going to be 6 or 7 kms due to the difficulty of the support car being able to access ramblas damaged in the storm. So a nice gentle walk. Not sure how many Spanish taking part but I think there will be a few.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Asking for Trouble

I know this may well cause me some trouble but, we are at the moment preparing applications for consideration in the Plans Provincial for next year and, our councillor for public works, has asked that I feed through to her any issues such as lighting or road repair or surfacing issues.

If you have something which falls into this category please email me for us to try and include it in the applications. There is of course no guarantees but at least if we know and ask then we have at least tried.

Obviously there are a number of issues I am already aware of and I am meeting with various residents over the next few days to examine  others but if you feel your may not not have been included or you wish to remind me then please do.

If you can also forward a photograph together with the location of your suggestion that would help us.

We need to complete our considerations before the end of the month.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jose Manuel

Just an update on Jose Manuel. As some of you know I had to dash him to the hospital about 1120am this morning. He was suffering from chest pains and felt faint. The latest I have is that his checks have so far revealed nothing dangerous but he is being monitored. 

Million Step Walk

The Spanish authorities have launched an initiative to try and get people exercising by walking more and have called it the million step walk.

In support of this initiative the Town Hall of Zurgena has organised a walk this coming Sunday at 10.0am. It will be setting off from outside the Cajamar Bank in Zurgena and should be about 8 to 10 kilometres.

If you wish to join us just let me know and supply your NIE number or just turn up on the day. So lets all get fit!

Update it will leave from the Plaza del Olmo now.