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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Past week.

I have not yet managed to get into the TH this week for a few reasons one of which was spending a full day at Torrevieja for the NHW AGM. Although the meeting was rather poorly attended I guess that is due in no small part to the huge decrease in crime lately. Although we do have to bear in mind we are approaching a more likely time for crime to occur!

We also had a presentation from Kim Clark who is in the business of assisting people to claim benefits to which they are entitled from the UK. Due to a number of changes in the law there are a good number of benefits which expats are now entitled to claim and Kim offers that service. What he does is to give a free initial consultation and then charges if you want to use his services further.  His business has a website at and he lives local to us.

During the day (yesterday) a suggestion was raised which I think may be worthwhile pursuing.  There are a number of single ladies in the area who due to bereavement, or who just wish to pursue a single life, and I wondered whether there was sufficient interest in forming a Ladies only type club. Where the ladies, being single or married, could meet and discuss, whatever it is that ladies like to discuss ,or to pursue activities which may interest them. Obviously I am not qualified to lead such an activity! But I am willing to get the thing off the ground and may even be able to provide help from the TH if that was needed. So ladies if you think this is something that you would be interested in then please get in touch and we can see if we can make it happen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This article from El Pais has been translated and obviously has some translation mistakes but the general gist can be understood. This is further confirmation of what we had been told some months ago, that the Junta were adapting the 2012 Decree to make it suitable to solve as many of the housing problems as possible

The Board sought to regularize illegal houses in Andalucia with Decree 2/2012 to "assimilate" and leave the legal limbo in which they were involved and legally accede to the supply of water and electricity. been two years since the adoption of this rule and the problem is still entrenched. The issue affects some 300,000 homes in the region and in the case of Almería, with 13,000 illegal houses, has had particular impact on the so-called "residential tourism", with thousands of EU citizens retirees who purchased homes outside management. A regulatory change in the Law on Urban Planning of Andalusia (LOUA) could facilitate, in the coming months, the regularization of houses built in urban subdivisions on rural land.

After two years of implementation of the decree, only 177 homes have been assimilated and have made the statement AFO, short for "Assimilated to Out Management", a Pyrrhic figure that does not even reach 0.1% of all illegal houses the community. Ie those works, installations or buildings made in breach of planning regulations, which were built irregularly, but where the irregularity has prescribed.

One of the regions where over illegal houses product of urban riots is the Almanzora. In Almería only 77 homes have achieved AFO statement. And of course, the balance in the Partnership Urban Abuses Almanzora No (AUAN) is radically negative.

The decree, denounces this association has not addressed the issue of houses built on subdivisions -the division of land into two or more lots for residential use in undeveloped land, something common in Almería and in the province of Málaga, where it is estimated that over 50% of the illegal houses are built on rustic land in urban subdivisions. "The problem we have found is that the decree can not be disabled in Article 185. 2 of the Law on Urban Planning of Andalusia (LOUA). So never prescribe these subdivisions. Not in 100 years they will be legal. Since we asked AUAN will adequately address the problem. We lost two years and continue to the problem, the economic and social suffering, "says Gerardo Vázquez, a consultant and spokesperson for the group.

In Almería, 20% of municipalities have been processed and approved the document forward, something like the inventory which includes its urban reality; and 9% are in the pipeline. "The councils will not take stock in Almería are 52%. These have made ​​the declaration which stipulates innecesariedad decree. As only 20% of municipalities did not adopt any agreement to launch implementation of the decree, "explains the territorial delegate of Environment and Planning Board in Almería, José Manuel Ortiz.

One thing that has been done, for example, the mayor of the town of Albox Almeria, Rogelio Mena, one of the hardest hit in the country with the construction of illegal houses during the boom years. The council has used these two years to make a comprehensive directory of all the data sheets for each and every one of the houses with their data and features.

Albox, 12,000, has a census of 2,000 illegal houses of which about 500 are beyond management possible. "My municipality implemented the decree 2/2012 and generated significant expectations. And it is truth that gives outputs to the temporary connections for water and electricity to many homes. After trying to give a legal basis in the General Plan and partial plans. But what? Well that regulations can not go against the law and Article 185 declares LOUA applicability of the subdivisions, "he stresses.

The profile of those affected by this problem is the retired British citizen and "bona fide purchaser" who has spent years fighting for a solution. In some cases, have planning permission has been even more pernicious. "I've seen cases where suddenly these victims learn that although they have a license and a deed of new development, and a license of occupation, electricity, water and even if the house registered in the Land Registry, your license has been declared illegal by the courts for many years, without them they found out. Taking license may challenge the Board. If no pass expires six years and illegal license, "Vazquez riveted.

The program for European

From the Socialist Party wants to give a "real and effective" to the problem of illegal houses built in urban subdivisions on rural land settlement. A "social need" that does not imply, in any case, "impunity", highlight sources of socialist regional executive. However, given the dichotomy of down or regulate these homes, the most likely alternative is to stabilize these homes with some kind of specific planning instrument.
Secretary of Planning and Housing PSOE, Pedro Fernández, put it clear in a recent visit to Almeria: "There is a decree in 2012 that established the possibility that households in rural land would be regularized. But that is subject to interpretation of the law. We must review the LOUA ". Meanwhile, the PSOE take this issue in the election manifesto for the European elections. The socialist campaign committee, which will meet next Wednesday, will define the terms of the ballot measure.

Does anyone want a bed?

I have received the below email.

"We have a single bed surplus to requirements. Well, to be exact a pull out drawer containing a mattress, which needs another standard mattress on top to make a complete guest bed.
It's in very good condition if you know someone who could use it. Free of course to a good home."

If this is of interest to anyone please get in touch.

Monday, April 21, 2014


A date for your calendars Saturday 3rd May. It is the day of the Almanzora valley 4 wheel drive rally. They will be coming through our ramblas on that date so avoid going into the ramblas on that date. There are many good viewing spots for the rally and if I get a copy of the programme I will post on here. I know that the ramblas will be closed from 3.30pm and 8.30pm on the day.

I attended the informative tour of the village last Saturday afternoon and it was quite enlightening. Discovered quite a few facts about our village, that I did not know, and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to know more about Zurgena if, and when, they do it again. The general consensus of those who did the tour was very positive.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I have copied this from the TH FB page.

Tomorrow (Sunday)is the day of Semana Santa called "La merienda". This takes places also during other popular fiestas. But what is it?
It is a day when family and friends get together to eat outside, not in bars but in cortijos, parks, campings, or in merenderos ("outside snack areas").

There is one such at Los Llanos del Peral, which also has a fountain so you can refresh yourselves during a hot sunny day. If you drive through Los Llanos taking the right fork in the road and follow that road for about half a mile, it is on your left. There are a few tables and benches so you can sit and eat what you might have brought from home. Its typical to cook your own food on fire. Paella, BBQ.... If you do , please be careful with the fire!

Additionally remember that there is the last of the guided tours round our villages tonight at 5.0pm departing from outside Zurgena Town Hall. I shall certainly try and make this one as I missed yesterdays!

Also for information the below publicity from Los Compañeros del Teatro who now present their next farce.
With five doors and a window as entry and exit points, this is a fast moving and very funny comic play in two acts. A major hit in the West End of London, it opened with David Jason in the lead roll.
What more do we need to say... Come and watch the action.
The Municipal Theatre, Zurgena

Friday 25th April
Saturday 26th April
                                    CURTAIN UP 7.30

Sunday 27th April... Matinee
                                   CURTAIN UP 3pm
priced at just 5€
i-Cafe Bar, Huercal-Overa
Cat Services, La Alfoquia
Girasol, Albox
One Stop Pool Shop, Longo's Albox

And available on the door

Happy easter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

English Language Easter Tour of the village

I have been asked by our councillor for tourism to publicise the below for this weekend.

"The Councillor of Tourism in Zurgena continues his support for the sector of tourism.
In Zurgena the Eastern week and its traditions are very important. The “brotherhoods” proudly carry their figures around the town according the tradition.
During the 1st Tourism Fair of Almanzora Valley organized in March in Zurgena one new company called Cultur-Almanzora was presented. They offer guided visit in Zurgena and also explain more about Semana Santa in Zurgena.
You are invited to join the walking visit on Thursday 17th at 17.00pm and Saturday 19th at  17.00pm, starting in front of the Town Hall. In english and spanish, free of charge.
After the guided visit you can enjoy the “processions” and the church services with the local traditions."

There now you have no excuse for participating in the easter traditions!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Week

As those of you who have lived here any time this is easter week and as such little activity takes place!
I have just been informed of the programme for easter weekend (in Spanish) and replicated it below.
Any questions just let me know.