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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

IBI Queries

I had a feeling that the last post would generate much correspondence!

Just to explain about the IBI bit. Any Town Hall can, and will, raise IBI on all properties which it deems are properly serviced. That is any property where the Licence of 1st Occupation has been issued as this is the form which  a Town Hall issues to say that the property is correct as far as they are concerned and as far as there registration is concerned. I can remember a friend of mine, who sold his house on my developement some 2 years ago, and the solicitor acting for the purchaser asked for a 1,000 euro deposit to cover any future IBI bill.

The amount of the IBI bills is subject to many variables and I therefore cannot give an accurate figure. The one I quoted was a guesstimate made by a councillor some years ago. I am aware that, many areas pay much less than this, but I am led to believe they are also going to get a shock because, when the new bills go out, everyones will be increased.

Hope this helps. I will be discussing many issues around this point with the Mayor over the next few weeks and before the bills are issued will report on here any issues etc that are pertinent.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National Strike

To remind you all of the planned National Strike called for tomorrow.

Having spoken to staff in the Town Hall most of them will not be striking and about 70% of spaniards think it is a waste of time, given that the necessary legislation, to counter the credit crisis, has now been passed. However, there is still a fairly militant faction within the unions who may intimidate some people from working so it is very unclear who will and who won't be going out on strike. It is suspected that transport will be sizeably affected.

Left the list of missing street signs for Paco's attention. The list was dated and I let him know I have retained a copy of the list.

Jose from the Correos called to see me today about my complaint that some mail was still going to Zurgena rather than to the Buzon. He explained that he had a change of staff but that he would re brief them about this which should correct it. The mail is sorted at Huercal Overa into post for delivery through the post lady or direct to the Post Office therefore it is the staff in Huercal Overa he needs to re brief the sorting staff.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pleno, Bits and IBI

We held a standard Pleno meeting this morning. Lasted from 12noon until 1.30pm. Nothing dramatic in the content, things such as, agreed date for next years Fiesta and various administrative things. After meeting went across the road to the bar where I had my usual discussion about outstanding issues with Candido (points listed below) at the conclusion of which the secretary, Jose, said words to the effect that I should not be bothering Candido with such things as I was a councillor and could approach the responsible person within the council directly. I told him that until recently I didn't know that a) I could do that or b) who the responsible person was but I would take it on board and where I knew the appropriate person would speak directly and save Candido's time.

Points discussed,
1. Provision of CD Rom of the outline Plan for the information of AUAN . To be supplied by secretary next week.
2. Electoral List in whatever form we can get it. Again to be supplied by the secretary next week.
3. The issue of all the missing street signs. I provided Candido with a short list as my original list is lost (if anyone is on a street without a sign please let me know and I will give it to Paco, sorry to have to ask again). The ones on my list today were, Calle Letonia, Chipre, Austria, Grecia and I said a few in Los Carasoles but didn't remeber the names. Please remind me.
4. Location for the Buzon for Los Carasole. Discussed and Candido is to speak with Anthonio as the place we feel best is on his land. I will communicate this to the organiser in Los Carasoles.
5. The lighting on Calle Rio Palancia not working. Paco to attend next week.
6. Parabolic mirror for junction of Cale Bosnia and Avenida Europa. To be chased up.
7. New Web Page for the Town Hall to be linked to this blog and vice versa. To discuss next week.
8. Potted road surface on entrance to Cucador. Paco to be directed to deal with.

As we were wrapping things up Salvadore wanted to speak to me. It transpires that we are getting close to being able to sort out the IBI bills. Salvadore has a number of meetings next week, at which he expects to get the authority signed off, for the Town Hall to start raising these bills. The problem is that there is a lot of work to be done. What will be needed is for each home owner to attend at the Town Hall with a copy of the Nota Simple. This form should show the square meterage of the property and needs to be checked against the inventory computer in the Town Hall. The home owner will then need to sign a front page of a Form 902 and the Town Hall will do the rest. As you can imagine this is going to be quite a bit of work. I have asked Salvadore that when he is ready for me to start on this work to let me know. I will then work through all the properties area by area and inform each individual home owner when it would be best for them to call into the Town Hall to progress it. As you all may know the retrospective aspect of IBI can only be to a maximum of 4 years and can only commence from the date the Licence of First Occupation was granted. In my case the licence was granted 5th January 2005 so the amount of back dated IBI can only be 4 years. I do not know, as there are so many factors which are taken into account to calculate the IBI, exactly what each home owner will need to pay per year (the last time I asked I was told roughly between 180 and 400 euros per annum but that was some time ago). I do not know how accurate that will be at the end of the day.

Also discovered that regarding the WiFi the Town Hall today took delivery of 5 UPS (uninterruptible power supply machines) which should greatly improve reliability when power outages occur. I also believe they are looking at installing a new aerial on Limaria which would greatly improve the coverage.

As usual any queries or clarification just drop me an email at or call 661147554.

NHW & Expedientes

We had an excellent NHW AGM meeting last night with over 100 attendees. Hope everyone found it informative. Its all meetings these days EGM in Torrevieja Wednesday, Zurgena at night and a Pleno today at midday. Will try and get a few more points answered this afternoon.

Whilst in the Town Hall yesterday noticed that there were two certificates of Expediente awaiting collection in the names of Anthony Pyle and James E Wright. If anyone knows these people please let them know.

Additionally on the notice board there was a mention of someone called Marie Govern. If anyone knows this person please ask them to get her to check it out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meeting with AUAN and Candido

This morning we had as previously arranged a meeting between the Mayor and the AUAN. At the meeting and taking an active part in it were Maura Hillen and Brian Reade of the AUAN together with their interpreter Mrs Samson. From the Council, apart from myself, were Candido and the Town Hall secretary, Jose Anthonio. It is good to se that all the Town Hall staff are working together now to achieve what we all hope will be a comprehensive PGOU.

I was happy that the meeting went well and satisfied that things, as explained by Candido to the AUAN, were still progressing as I understood them to be. Candido set out the history of our negotiations with the Junta and where we were in the process. There was one bit of less than good news, and that was when we were trying to understand the timeliness of the process, when the secretary explained that he thought the initial plan would be put before the Pleno session of the Council but, that that would be in February or March. Where I was hoping that it would be before the end of this year. Additionally once it is agreed in Pleno there is, of course, the one month publication period, before it is for the Junta to respond. The pleasing aspect was that he, Candido, still maintains that he hopes to have all properties included in the agreed plan. I guess I was particularly pleased that everything that the Mayor and the secretary said was in accord with my understanding and previously published articles within this blog. I have undertaken to obtain a CD rom of the plan for the information of the AUAN although obviously, as this is a working document, it would not be for publication.

We also discussed the method for residents to check that they are going to be able to vote in the next elections. According to the AUAN each Town Hall is supplied every month with a list of those eligible to vote. After much discussion amongst the Town Hall staff they confirmed that it may be the law but that we often only receive a list once a year if not once every four years. I have undertaken to try and find out what possible listing the Town Hall have and let the AUAN know.

I then asked about the installation of street lights on the Cuesta de los Pinos developement. Candido explained that the Town Hall was ensuring that this was done and that the developement was tidied up. I was able to confirm that I had seen 3 of Paco's workers clearing the weeds away yesterday. The reason this was happening is that once the street lights are installed the Town Hall will be taking responsibility for this area. Candido asked if it would be worthwhile having an inauguration celebration when the lights were ready to switch on and to celebrate the Town Hall taking it over. I thought this a good idea so watch this space for details of what and when we will do to celebrate this stage of the process.

I was also told that an area in the Jardines del Almanzora area, which was to be a green area developed by Dizu, would also be done by the Town Hall as, due to the continuing legal actions by the Junta, Dizu would not be able to do this work.

The Town Hall has developed a new website. I am hoping to provide a link on here to theirs and vice versa as soon as I can.

Just as an aside I have been asked, by a couple of the internet forums, if I would join in their discussion groups to discuss local politics between now and the election next May. I have informed them that unfortunately I will not be taking part. The forums attract people who like the anonymity to launch tirades against others. I saw this happen last election. People know that, if they wish to discuss anything with me, they may do so through this blog or face to face in my surgeries or by email or telephone.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dogs & Los Menchones WiFi

I try to make this resource informative and not one for complaints, however, my email inbox has, over the past few weeks, become overflowing with queries and requests for action about dogs.

The main two issues have been noise nuisance from excessive and uncontrolled barking to the problem of owners not cleaning up after their dogs.

As a result of the emails I have asked at the Town Hall about the rules regarding noise nuisance from dogs and been advised that there is little that the authorities can do about it and that it is for those who have a complaint to record the problems and take out their own denuncias. However if the noise nuisance is during the night there may be action that can be taken, each case would have to be judged on its merits.

In relation to the problem of dog mess I asked if we could buy and provide special bins for this. The response I got was,"why don't they take their dog mess home with them and dispose of it in their own waste bin" This was an answer I could not really argue with!

Let us hope that sense will prevail and all pet owners will try and respect their neighbours/areas.

They have installed (last week) a new node to allow better service for the WiFi in the Los Menchones area. I have also been told that the UPS will be installed next week which should protect us from problems with power outages.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday 10th Sept

Held a reasonably lengthy surgery yesterday and managed to arrange a meeting for the AUAN with Candido for later this month.

Still have lots outstanding including location for the buzon for Los Carasoles and outstanding Certificates of Expediente amongst many others. I suspect I am going to have to leave these until Andreas returns to work which is on 21st September.

It seems the lighting for Cuesta de los Pinos is being installed roughly in line with the plan we gave Anthonio 2 or 3 years ago. I did not keep a copy of that plan so I am unsure how accurate his installation is however most people seem to be happy with the scale and style of the lights. There are of course areas where people would like more lights but as, those of you who live here will remember, there was quite a lobby for no lights and so I suppose we cannot please all the people. There are also tidying up and tarmacing where they had dug up the road.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WiFi Pool area

I was approached by a resident from the Pol bar area of La Alfoquia who was complaining that the WiFi service was no longer good in that area. I informed them that all problems should be posted onto the Forum so that the engineer can pick it up and see what needs to be done.
I contacted Juan (who is very good at trying to resolve issues) and I have copied the gist of his response below.

Hi Jim, I recommend that users of the pool area, to install antennas NanoStation Loco M5 (55 Euros) if they want a stable connection and fast (as have you). The antennae was changed the antenna without telling me and instead of improving the situation has worsened, and have been asked to place three NanoStation M2 by the pool area. Also this week will receive 20 new antennas AirMax. 
Anyway, due to the saturation of frequencies in the 2.4GHz band is becoming more difficult to provide good service, even with very good access points. The future is the 5 GHz band. We'll place UPS very soon and we are planning to bring more bandwidth to Zurgena to offer speeds of 20 meg and 2 meg up (actual speed) to our customers while maintaining current prices.

So as you can see it is a couple of reasons that led to the poorer connection speed including the massive uptake of the service but they are working on improving the speed and the stability of the signal. Sorry for any inconvenience.

PS New Nano station M5 arrive in the Town Hall tomorrow although Andrew is not back in until the 21st September.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Blog

Welcome to those of you who have managed to find the new blog. I intend to run it just the same as the other although there does seem to be more functionality to this blog and I hope you find it easier to navigate. I will leave the old blog in situ and I believe it will still be searchable for sometime to come so no need to import it. There is a simple process to enable following this blog and ensure that you get all posts. If you click on the follow gadget it gives you two options in how to follow it.

Called into the Town Hall today as Andreas was in and hoped to catch Candido but he was in court somewhgere so I missed him again. I left a list of issues I need to get answers to for people and so I hope he will respond before to long.

I also discovered that the secretary hopes to resolve all the outstanding Certificates of Expediente by next week. Lets hope so.