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Monday, February 28, 2011


I attended the inauguration of the new Gymnasium today and was amazed at the turnout. There were 100's of people.
Candido cut the ribbon to open the gym and we all trooped in. I was handed a piece of the ribbon as a keepsake!
The Gym is split into 3 distinct areas one area is of differing apparatus
, the second is an exercise bike area and the 3rd is a light weights and exercise ball area. There are showers and toilets and it is a nice large bright space.
The general consensus was positive, although there were a few issues which we still need to address, but it was a question of opening it sooner or delaying.
There were forms available for anyone who wishes to join the gym and these will also be available from the Town Hall.
The hours of opening are to be 0915 to 1330 and 1700 to 2230. The prices are to be 30 euros per month for general but with a reduced rate of 15 euros for pensioners.
Tried to upload pictures but got a problem. Will try again later.

Latest List Meeting

Well a bunch of us got together last night in La Alfoquia to discuss the order for the election list. There was about 20 members of the P.A. in attendance but I am afraid we did not make much progress.
Candido informed us that some of those, who we hoped would join us, were not able to make it.
That caused problems as without knowing who definitely wanted to be on the list it was going to be impossible to draw up the list.
I knew that out of the list from the last elections we had lost 3 members who had had seats on the council. However to offset that we had a number of new faces who we would need to consider for the list. That included a 20 year old young man from the village called Paco, two ladies Noelia Garcia Jimenez and Maria del Mar, a mature and sensible sounding local man, Jose Juan, and of course Mike Foulkes from La Alfoquia.
There was an open debate during which one of the members suggested Candido do a proposed list and we vote on it. However Candido said he did not want to do it like that it would looked almost dictatorial and was how the PSOE and PP did it. After an hours discussion it was agreed that we could make a definitive numbered ist until we had confirmation from all who wished to be considered so we adjourned until 4.0pm Saturday next.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

List Meeting

We had a meeting last Thursday night to nominate our No 1 for the elections and Candido was voted back in. We meet tonight at 7.0pm to decide our list for the elections. It will be the usual shouting match where everyone gets a say (not how the other main parties do it with a head man instructing the party members what the order will be). As I have said before it is a really good example of a democratic process and it may be more interesting this time as we have another UK ex pat resident to consider. Mike Foulkes has joined the party and he will be considered for a position on the list the same as every other member of the party. We also have 3 new Spanish lady members to consider. So it will be interesting how the list developes.

Just for information I have read (and pass this on for your information) in the English, and Spanish press, that from the 7th March the National Speed limit will be reduced to 110kph (from 120kph)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big News

We have received the best bit of news that we could recently.
I was up in Costa Calida yesterday having a lovely meal with friends by the seaside when my mobile rang. It was the Town Hall to inform me that we had the 1st of our cases which has reached the highest court in the land in Madrid. The case involved the 100 or so houses built by Prodelor to the north of La Alfoquia. The judge in this court found in favour of the Town Hall, thereby creating a very valuable precedent for us. The process through the courts, of each of the cases, is as follows firstly, lower court hearing in Almeria, secondly an appeal to the higher court in Granada and finally the highest and last appeal court at Madrid. Not only that but the judge awarded costs against the Junta and the costs are very substantial well into 6 figures for all the solicitors etc.

Secondly the case to be heard in the 1st or 2nd week March against the Mayor and others has now been suspended. I understand this to be similar to our 'adjournement sine die'. I wonder if this has anything to do with the decision to find in favour of the Town Hall above!!

It is confirmed that the order for Andalucia Day is as follows 12 noon inauguration of the gymnasium followed by the get together/fiesta at the Renfe at 2.0pm. There will be a BBQ and drinks.

The survey has been agreed and Candido is to buy 500 envelopes for me to use as the ones in the Town Hall are stamped with the Town Hall logo and as this is a Partido Andalucista initiative we have to fund it from party funds.

I have details of about 6 people who have asked that I check out their situation regarding the court cases. I will supply the secretary with these details Monday for enquiries to be made.

Lastly for those of you, who are more fluent than me in Spanish, there is a gentleman from the village, who is our caped crusader (Juan Pardo) and who, because he was once imprisoned by a politically motivated politician, runs a blog to expose the underhand and dirty tricks which these other politicians get up to. His blog is at I will try and interpret his latest points and put it on here when I can. (I have put a link on here which you can find in the sidebar on the right.(

We have another meeting tonight at which we have to decide who our No 1 candidate (eg potential Mayor should PA win sufficient seats) is to be.

Lastly an english performance in the Zurgena theatre as below

Los Companeros del Teatro
present at
The Teatro Municipal Zurgena
Two comedy one act plays
"White Lies"
by Richard James
"The Last Panto"
by David Tristram

Friday 4th March
Saturday 5th March
doors open 7pm - curtain up 7.30pm
tickets available, for your donation of 5€
Girasol 1 Stop Pool Shop Sabor Restaurant
Albox Longos Albox La Alfoquia
Tickets may also be available on the door.
Please phone, or email for availability

689 760 551

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Firstly my suggested survey/questionnaire has been approved apart from a couple of bits so I hope to start delivering that in the next few days. I will also make a copy available on the internet but I would prefer if people use the paper copies as it will save me having to print too many off. We want to break down the responses and discuss.

Secondly we have now decided that the gymnasium will be inaugurated before the celebrations for Andalucia Day on February the 28th at 12 noon. It has not yet been decided whether the gym will be full time manned and its hours of opening have also to be agreed with the secretary. We have been assured that the last of the equipement will be delivered in time. Lets hope so. The charges for using the gym have also not yet been set or agreed but hopefully we will know this by the 28th.

This will be followed with the fiesta at the Renfe which will run from 2.00m until 5.0pm the same day. I am told there will be food and drink.

The meeting, which I am having after my surgery on Thursday at 12 noon, will give those who were unable to get clarification last Wednesday a chance to discuss. there is a possibility that Candido will be able to support me but that will depend on demands on his time, of which there have been a lot lately.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Legality Meeting

Following last weeks meeting with the solicitors and the Mayor I have been made aware that a number of people did not make the meeting and would have liked to hear what was said. I tried to cover it in an earlier post but, to try and ensure everyone has an opportunity, I am going to be in the Pleno room (at the side of the reception desk) at the Town Hall, this Thursday at noon for anyone who wishes to have further clarification or ask any questions.
I would be grateful, if you do intend coming along, if you could let me know. So that I can make sure I have enough chairs out. Drop me a mail to

Friday, February 18, 2011

Survey Forms

Following discussions, which I have had with various members of Partido Andalucista over the past few weeks, we have agreed to conduct a survey/questionnaire of the ex pat community. I am in the process of putting this together this weekend and if approved early next week I will circulate it physically to each home. There will also be copies available on the internet.

The purpose in doing this is to try and identify the best way forward, to provide the things which the local authority can, to make life in our municipality better for the older residents. There will be two parts to the survey the first is to help us understand the demographics of our community and the second part will be more specific and asking for the things which you feel would/could help.

I will be asking that everyone completes these forms, in order that we have a more representative view upon, which we can decide items for inclusion in the manifesto. Please support this process it is your chance to help affect how the area is provided for in the future.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Last Nights Meeting

Thought I had better post an outline of what was discussed at last nights meeting with the Mayor for the benefit of those not present.

Firstly the top table consisted of the Mayor, Candido Trabalon, Anthonio Segura (the head of the chambers of solicitors representing the Town hall) and Fran one of his solicitors.

Candido initially outlined the fact that the many cases being pursued by the PSOE controlled Junta were all at various stages of the judicial process however he did want to stress that not one case had yet been found in the Junta's favour all had so far been found in favour of the Town Hall. There were two areas where the cases had been won in the lower court and in the first appeal court in Granada. There is one month left for the Junta (out of a total of 3 month period) to make a final appeal on these two cases before they have run out of time. Therefore they either appeal to the highest Court in the land in Madrid by then or exhaust their options. Anthonio stated that as far as the solicitors were concerned they could see no reason for the Town Hall to lose any of their cases in any of the courts, as all had had building licences correctly processed within the law. I have to try and find out which areas these are and post on here.

Various questions were then asked about the situation with regard to individuals situation and it was agreed that if anyone wished to identify whether there was a case open against anyone then they should let me know the details (copy of licence of 1st occupation or building licence)and we would try and identify what the situation was. He did ask that everyone should note that the Town Hall solicitors were defending all the actions and not leaving any individual (eg owner) to defend their own case.

PGOU. Following on from these points the Mayor outlined the position with regard to the PGOU He said that he had heard from some people that Zurgena was not moving forward on their PGOU compared to Arboleas and other areas. Candido said this was NOT the case and that Zurgena was in probably the best position in all of the Almanzora valley. He said that to there knowledge only Huercal Overa and Seron were in a position to get their PGOU agreed in a similar time scale to us. He explained how over the past few years they have had many many meetings with the Junta to try and make progress on the PGOU. he was now in a position to inform the meeting that our provisional PGOUY will go before Pleno session of the council in the 1st week in March for agreement by the Council. It will then be available for all to examine. We would make it available on this blog (if I can manage that), hopefully on the inet and also posted on the Town Hall notice board. It would remain there for 4 weeks and then be sent to the Junta for agreement. Candido stressed that negotiations so far had all been verbal so they had been careful not to give too much away. Once the plan is agreed in session and sent to them they have give written objections if they disagree with any urbanised area and our solicitors are ensuring that when prepared the PGOU is bullet proof. He also said that Arboleas are not working on their PGOU yet as they are still having to work on amending their norms (local planning bye laws) before they can start on their PGOU. He also stressed that they would be including every house in the municipality in the plan,. As the law that applies to one has been applied to all. He was confident in making this statement as they have engaged the assistance of a Chancellor of the University of Malaga (one of four men who are also responsible for creating planning laws in Spain) and he has advised them that Zurgena's plans and licences are all correct.

A question was raised from the floor about paying for infrastructure. Candido again confirmed that no occupants would have to pay for infrastructure and that the Town Hall would do so. He informed the meeting that the contracts for locations such as Palaces (tarmac and lighting) had been issued and should be completed in the next few weeks.

Other questions were asked but mostly of specific cases and people started to drift away. Candido wanted me to ensure everyone was invited to the Andalucia day (28th February) in this same building. It is intended to open the new Gymnasium and then move down to the Renfe for the Fiesta.

The meeting ended about 1935 and we adjourned to the Pool Bar for further discussions and a beer! Ended up speaking to the man who is going to be running the restaurant at Cuesta de los Pinos previously known as the White Horse community centre. It seems he has encouraging plans as to what the place will be. It seems he is intent on making it a more upmarket restaurant which may be good for that area. I believe he said he will be calling it "La Vida".

Before and after the meeting I met a number of people who were interested in becoming involved in politics. I agreed to have private discussions with them to let them know what was involved and how things work. I do know we may have a bit of a squeeze this year with more wanting to be considered than spaces available (13) but we will have to work through that.

Just so that people know my desire for my input into the manifesto this year will be along the lines of making Zurgena an area to where the elderly wish to come and live, and to that end I will be trying to get included a paragraph that sets out that as a mission statement backed up by factors such as better transportation, facilities, paving etc. I am working on my presentation for that know and of course would welcome any suggestions. This of course will only be for discussion by the fuller P.A party and consideration for inclusion in their proposed manifesto should they gain sufficient seats to put these ideas into practice (if adopted). A second point will be that every house should have a tarmac access and I will try and get that included.

On a side issue the barriers for the road between Cuesta de los Pinos and Llanos del Peral should be installed later this year. The completion of the works around the old church in Llanos will be done as son as they can get time to do it.

Finally if you were sitting in the hall about 2 to 3 rows back from the front and have lost a grey baseball cap please contact me as I found one when tidying up the chairs after the meeting.

As usual any questions or issues please email or call or 661147554. I am sure I have forgotten some bits but as and when I remember them I will add.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tonights Metting

I had an excellent and lengthy meeting with Candido this morning about all sorts of things some or most of which will be covered tonight so I won't spoil it here. I will post in the next couple of days a resume of that and tonights meeting.

Just an additional point that Candido asked me to communicate. The main thing he wants to address tonight is people's concerns about property legalities etc. To that end he has asked our solicitors to attend the meeting so one or both of our (the Town Halls) solicitors will be in attendance to assist.

Friday, February 11, 2011

WiFi Problem

I have received this message from the WiFi engineer today.

One of the DSL Routers has failed. This will be repaired by the weekend.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10th February

Few bits from this morning. I was in having a surgery and spoke briefly with Candido. He had been admitted to hospital last weekend with pain which was as a result of kidney stones but the was back out this week. He has agreed to hold the "Meet the Mayor" meeting in the Renfe on Wednesday next the 16th February at 6.0pm. As some of you know it is quite a cold building but I anticipate the meeting will only be for about 45 minutes to an hour so wrap up warm. I will try and get details published outside of this blog. If anyone has any questions which they may consider technical or complicated please assist us by emailing them to me in advance so that Andreas can get his head round them.

Candido had had a meeting with our architect and the Architect representing the Junta yesterday but I was unable to discuss how this had gone. I will try and catch him again tomorrow to try and find out.

The Polizia Local are a bit stuck at the moment. Haven't got the funds for the new car through yet and the old is in the garage today for repairs.Took up one or two issues for the Polizia Local to attend to when they are mobile again.

Discovered something about Processionary Caterpillars today. These caterpillars, which many of you know can be poisonous, are a problem in pine trees in this area of Spain. A couple had called into the Town Hall today to report a problem with such caterpillars and asked if the Town Hall could do anything about them. Apparently they will attend to it if it is in a public area but not if in or on private land.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2nd February

Managed to get some progress on some of the more pressing issues today although it did mean that one or two of the Town Hall staff got a bit of a telling off.

Firstly I again stressed how bad the road surface was getting at Cucador. I knew we had asked Paco to repair this area months ago but that it was just getting worse and worse to the point of causing damage to cars. Candido seemed surprised that it had not been repaired and rang Paco. Basically Paco said that, whilst during the year he had sorted road repair maintenance in Palaces, Zurgena and la Alfoquia, he had forgotten about Cucador and promised to rectify this within the week!

I then reminded Candido that we had still not got the lights illuminated in Cuesta de los Pinos or Los Carasoles. He asked me to identify on a map whereabout these lights were as he did not know of any awaiting boletins in that area. I showed him and fortunately Francisco was present who confirmed that there was in fact a number of lights which we had not yet got boletins for. Candido put in a call to Endesa and although could not get to speak to the man promised to chase them up today. He said he would need to visit Los Carasoles to see for himself exactly which area I meant.

The parabolic mirror has now been received and I showed Francisco on a map where I wanted it placing. This will be done after Paco has sorted the road at Cucador.

I also said that there were a number of areas around the pool bar that need tidying up. He said that there are to be a couple of proper green areas but these have not yet received finance so in the meantime he would deploy some of the cleaners to that area to try and make it better. They would also try again to see what could be done about the big hole, whilst within the restrictions of the moment.

Forgot to add that I also asked if we could get the remainder of the street name signs erected and again he was surprised this had not been done. After another phone call to Paco it was agreed that he should sort them out and if there were any, which were missing, he was to go and buy some more.