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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Andreas dad

Andreas' father is a little better today but they will be doing tests tomorrow to see exactly what the state of his lungs are and what else they can do for him. It does mean that for most of this week I will be unable to progress the issues outstanding.

I am hoping to sort out the keys for the group wanting to use the community centre at Llanos del Peral for a small Xmas carol singing on Friday and also to get an answer to the big question which has been circulating on the forums about Candido not standing next year for reelection.

Just as I was compiling this blog I took a phone call from Candido to the effect that he has not made any decision about next years elections but he is possibly going to stand but that it would depend on whether he had the support of myself and the other councillors. So again there is no truth in the Spanish press reports about the PGOU, Candido or the Town Halls position regarding the PGOU. I will try and get some time to discuss this in more detail when I can get Andreas and Candido to sit down, probably next week.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WiFi Reduced Prices

One bit of good news is that the charges for the WiFi have been reduced see below for new prices.

1 Mbps/128 kbps => 3 EUR
2 Mbps/256 kbps => 6 EUR
3 Mbps/320 kbps => 12 EUR
4 Mbps/512 kbps => 20 EUR

I understand a few of you were charged the old rates I will try and make sure Andreas is aware of the new prices when I see him this week.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Andreas' Father

Was having a surgery today and had hoped to see Candido regarding about nine points, but was thwarted, in that Andreas was not going to be available. His father has been admitted to hospital with water on the lungs.
Will try daily.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Forum Reports & Casetas

Firstly I have had a number of emails about the contents of some posts on forums about our PGOU and Candido Trabalon, Mayor of Zurgena. Firstly, for your information, I do not use the forums and have not for over 3 years due to the frequently unsubstantiated and often almost slanderous stuff that appears on them. As you know the reason I joined the Council in Zurgena was to try and be able to give people as accurate and up to date information on anything that appertains to Zurgena.

In relation to the stuff which has been circulating in the Spanish press(left wing controlled) about Candido and the likely events at Court in March this is the 3rd release of the same information and almost word for word what they said at the time of the arrests. Secondly I have not spoken to Candido for over a week and, if he has intimated he is not going to run, then he hasn't told me. I will be meeting with him as usual probably Thursday or Friday and will ask for clarification of this matter and the newspaper reports. Lastly as far as the PGOU is concerned there are no further developements, on what is actually being agreed, since I last reported on here.

Secondly the Post Boxes for Los Carasoles were being installed yesterday and so deliveries to that area should commence soon. The residents of Palaces have also initiated a bank of boxes for their area and Mrs Diane Drummond is organising that one. We have identified a location and Diane is finalising numbers for the boxes. If you live in Palaces area and are interested please get in touch with Diane asap her email is and herb telephone number is
950 064 322

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WiFi Problem

Most of you will have noticed a little problem with the WiFi over the past two days. This is due to a sizeable network problem across a large part of Southern Spain. They have allowed us 30% of our normal bandwidth so that it can keep working but hopefully they can resolve the problem over the next day or two. They are working on it.

Network problem resolved at 12.30pm today Sunday.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I had another meeting with Jose the support services manager for the Correos today to try and advance the installation of more Postal Boxes at Palaces and Los Carasoles. It was a bit awkward as I did not have my car(had to take it in for some work doing) and the lady doing the work for Palaces was already committed to a meeting but I had a nice brisk walk over the Palaces only for Jose to ring me from Olula del Rio (didn't need to have half run and should have realised) that he would be late!

Anyway he has agreed to commence deliveries to both Palaces and Los Carasoles as soon as Postal Box banks are installed. There is the issue of ensuring letters are correctly addressed. He did inform me that many letters for the boxes already installed are not being properly addressed and asked that I put out a reminder. So please if you want post delivered to an existing or future Buzon (postal box) you are reminded to show it as follows

James Smith? (necessary)
C1-B1 (necessary)
Caseta Postal Tahullas (optional)
Location (necessary)
Postal Code 04661 (necessary)
Zurgena, Almeria, Espana.

C1 or C2 whichever is your caseta.
B1 or whatever being your box number
Location being Cuesta de los Pinos, Los Carasoles or Palaces.

I will communicate to the people locally who are organising these boxes how each area should show its address for its individual caseta.

It would also appear that all other areas in Zurgena will require Casetas if they want deliveries as Madrid has quoted the law regarding deliveries and that will be the outcome. I was able to see a letter which had been prepared for a Spanish resident os a part of La Alfoquia and that was the gist of the letter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Road Latest (Copied from Bruce's list)

Latest News regarding the new motorway as circulated by Bruce Hobday and one of the Forums for your information.

The Board will open one lane of the motorway Almanzora to avoid passing through the Alfoquia
The Ministry of Public Works has increased investment in 5.6 million to increase security and improve infrastructure
Posted on 17/11/2010 Teleprensa.

The Government delegate of the Board in Almeria, Maribel Requena, and the Provincial Delegate for Public Works, Ana Vinuesa, visited, accompanied by mayors and economic and social actors in the region of Almanzora, the works executed by the Junta de Andalucía future motorway link with Baza Huércal-Overa, through a transverse axis across the Almanzora communicate.

The aim of the visit was to explain the progress of works and detail the improvements that have been included in the projects of the two sections that are running, which is the variant and the stretch Albox Albox-Cucador variant. Likewise, the delegate of the Government has announced that later this month will service a road, enabling a lane in each direction, along 2.6 kilometers, to avoid vehicles passing through the neighborhood of the Alfoquia.

Along the route, which includes 14.7 km, has demonstrated the high degree of implementation of the two sections. Alternative Albox is at 78.5 percent of execution, while the section-Cucador Albox variant reaches 80.5 percent. The work continues at full pace, with 120 workers who are in the works. The Andalusian invests in the works of these two sections 59 million euros. In addition to the work under the project, the Ministry of Public Works has approved an additional investment of EUR 5,650,000, which is embodied by two modified are also running.

The modified response to the requests made by the mayors of the municipalities through which the future highway runs (Albox and Arboleas), in order that the infrastructure to respond to needs that have arisen after project approval, the result of growth region. This is the case of access to polygon Terdiguera or access to the neighborhood branch of the Molata and Almanzora. Additionally, increased measures to improve road safety and slope stability.

The Government delegate stressed the commitment of the Government of Andalusia and the infrastructure in the Shire of Almanzora, which highlights the future Highway, which is part of the Mascerca Plan of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and represents a total investment of 425 million euros.

In this line, Maribel Requena said the regional government's continued commitment to this infrastructure, as reflected by the fact that it is included in the first package of works to be financed by the public-private model, "a formula to support great works with private investment without establishing tolls or change the specifications and use of infrastructure to be designed from the Administration to serve the public. "

The motorway project Almanzora is planned in two phases.

The first, which refers Purchena, Fines and Huércal-Overa, runs most of the track on the A-334. Includes 40 kilometers of highway, divided into five sections. One of them, including 7.9 kilometers and links Aims and Albox, is already in service. Two others, the variant of Albox and the links to the Cucador, are underway and include 14.7 km. Finally, the connection between Cucador and the intersection of La Concepcion, which will mean another 3.3 kilometers, is also awarded. So, the remaining sections, whose projects are drafted, the tender tare through this public-private formula, with an investment of 139 million euros.

As for the second phase, which will link Purchena Baza and is an investment of 200 million euros and about 3,016 jobs associated with it. These works will be put into service another 42.3 kilometers of highway and infrastructure connected with the rest of Andalucía through the A-92 north in Baza. The tender for the concession to these sections will be held in the first quarter of 2011.

The Almanzora Highway Baza improves the connection between (A-92 North) and Huércal-Overa (A-7) through the A-334, in order to promote social and economic development in this region of Almeria, making provide citizens a big cross shaft that communicates between it and linking to the two main motorways in the region. Thus, the highway will directly benefit the 70,000 citizens living in the municipalities of Valle del Almanzora, located in a length of 90 kilometers and the total investment is 425 million euros.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Voting Rights & How to Check

I have, as you know been waiting for the Secretary to try and get me a full censor list from Almeria but he has failed. I have copied the below from my friend Bruce Hobdays' circulation email as it is as comprehensive a list as it is possible to get. I would urge everyone to check, particularly those who did not vote in the local elections in 2007.

I will also ensure that Jose in our Town Hall is aware (para 4 below) that I have sent this out so that he knows anyone calling into the Town Hall is doing so from this advice.

If you want to confirm that you will be able to vote in the local elections in May 2011 you may do so as follows:

1.Telephone your provincial Electoral Census Office on 901101900. You should have your padrón, your passport number and your NIE/Residencia details to hand. An interpreter may be required as the staff generally speak Spanish.

2.Send an email to the Census Office at quoting your name, the address on your padrón, your passport number and your NIE number. Emails are accepted in English and a response may be sent in Spanish.

3.Post your enquiry via the Census Office website. Quote your name, the address on your padrón, your passport number and your NIE number. Queries are accepted in English and a response will be sent in Spanish.

4.Check at your Town Hall. According to the Census Regulations (Real Decreto 605/1999 de 16 de abril, de Regulación Complementaria de los procesos electorales, Sexta reclamaciones administrativas) ….. “At any time you can check your registration in the electoral census and make appropriate claims under the provisions article 38 de la Ley Orgánica 5/1985, del Régimen Electoral General (LA LEY 1596/1985). Both queries and complaints may be filed with the Ayuntamientos, consular offices or at the Provincial Offices of Electoral Census Bureau”. The census office has explained that the town hall may fulfil its obligation to resolve your enquiry by phoning the Electoral Census Office on your behalf on 901101900. If your town hall is not in a position to supply the required information and will not assist by contacting the census office on your behalf, we strongly recommend that you register a formal complaint. We also advise that you note the details stated in this paragraph in case your town hall is unaware of the regulations.

5.Visit the Census office in person (from 9am to 2pm) at the Delegacion Provincial de Almeria del Censo Electoral, Plaza de San Pedro, 8 , 04001 Almeria and make a personal enquiry. Bring your padrón certificate, passport and NIE/Residencia details with you. The staff generally speak Spanish so an interpreter may be required.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

Today being the 11th of the 11th the Royal British Legion held their annual remembrance day service at the San Ramon Nonato church in Zurgena. It was reasonably attended but maybe a few less than last year. The priest Padre Manuel Herada again issued an invite to all expats to use the church saying that it was there for all to use. He congratulated the organisers conduct and presentation of the service which he especially mentioned and thought was excellent. He does seem a really nice and welcoming person.

Had a few people at the surgery this morning and afternoon and as always, if anyone has any concerns or questions about what the council is, or is not doing, please make arrangements to come and discuss. As you know the reason I took this post was to be able to try and get answers (or to get things done, not always quite as easy). I would much rather people came and discussed things than set the hares off.

On a similar matter as many of you know the local elections will be taking place again next May. I have not yet decided whether to stand again or not. However it is most likely that should the Partido Andalucista field a list for the elections then I would expect to have input into the next manifesto. I think that will be drawn up about February/March next year but the reason I mention it now is that you can all put your thinking hats on and if there is anything you believe I should put forward for consideration for inclusion then please let me know. I will keep all suggestions until that time and then see what the response is.

I did ask about the Gun Club, as some people had emailed saying they thought they had been granted a licence. This is not the case, the Town Hall has no knowledge of any attempts to get permissions for the club to restart and, if anyone suspects that they are operating as a club, they should contact the Guardia Civil when the shooting is taking place.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday 4th Nov.

Called in this morning but it was a bit of a waste of time.

Firstly I asked if Luis (the architect) had managed to get me the CD of the Plan but he had not.

Secondly I asked if Jose had got me the Censor list or details of where to call to check the electoral list. Also no joy as Jose had dropped one of the large stones, which form the wall at the side of the entrance to the Town Hall, on his feet and so has been off work again for a few days.

Thirdly, as I am looking at the options for getting a plan of an urbanisation displayed in a prominent place, I asked if we had a decent street plan for Cuesta de los Pinos. When we checked we had maps of all the areas except that one. I will have to wait for Salvadore to do one, as the Town Hall needs to have one, and then I can get a copy and see what we can do with it. It was a suggestion from a resident that to enable emergency services or even just delivery drivers to find addresses that we put an illuminated street plan in a prominent position so that people could be located. I think it is a good idea and will pursue. I do not know if I can get the Town Hall or the builder to pay for it but I am sure that, if it is reasonable enough, the residents would help with the cost.

The Correos has now altered its operating hours to just one hour a day between 1.0pm and 2.0pm. Not only that but the good staff have all left and it is a new young man who does not even know the area. A reminder to sign the petition that Mike has out in various locations. We are hopeful that the buzon for Los Carasoles will be installed soon and I have heard from a resident at Palaces who, through Neighbourhood Watch, is canvasing residents of that area to see if they want a similar bank of post boxes. If you live in Palaces and have not been contacted by Diane Drummond (email ) and you are interested then please do so.If there is sufficient interest we will approach the correos and see about getting one installed there.

Lastly I asked that our thanks be passed onto Paco and his team for their prompt and good work in tidying up the trees which were blocking the road view when exiting Palaces last Friday. Sometimes things get done!

On another matter and just for your information (this is no recommendation merely information). There is a newish company which is offering a service whereby they manage your electricity supply to get the best and cheapest electricity supplier. As you may know there are various ways that your electricity costs are going to increase over the next year or so.
The company is called Iberswitch based in Alicante but they have the contract for the South of Spain. They charge a one off fee of 30 euros then 30% of each months saving and they promise to save you money for various reasons up to about 30%. Their local agent based in Huercal Overa is Joanne Williams mobile 634346942 email

Finally local english sounding names displayed on the Town Hall notice board are Maxine Louise Cottrill and Dudley Vincent Reilly, both of Cucador. If you know of either of these people it may of benefit if they were to check out the papers displayed.

Any problems email or mob 661147554.