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Friday, May 27, 2011

Worrying Times

Called into the Town Hall this morning in the hope of catching Candido, which I did. However, the news I heard was NOT GOOD.

It seems that some of the politicians in P.P. party (right wing 3 seats) favour an affiliation with PSOE (socialists 4 seats) rather than P.A (4 seats and most votes by over 100). I have a certain amount of worry that that could jeopardise our PGOU (knowing what the national and regional view of PSOE politicians). I also do not know how they could possibly work together for any length of time. As a party we have asked our ex Councillor Manolo to negotiate on our behalf and I am sure there will be many rumours and stories flying around before the final decision is reached which has to be before the 11th June. There are a number of permutations.

After asking how the negotiations were going I asked if the outcome of these could, or would, affect the PGOU and was told that there is nothing that binds any other party to the plan agreed between the previous administration and the Junta!

I will be unable at the moment to progress some of the outstanding issues until after we see how this pans out. Please bear with me.

Just a couple of little bits.

We have sufficient in the budget for the new bowling green to ensure we get the best quality surface and we are looking at those options with Luiz, the architect.

The dates for large items to be collected from the basuras is the 12th and 27th and one should put any such items out a day or two before these dates.

The address of the catastral website is located at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Possible Outcome

I have discovered that, where there is no clear winner, such as in Zurgena's election the council have 14 days to reach some sort of agreement. From my little knowledge of these matters I suspect that the most likely outcome would be an agreement between P.A. and P.P.

One of the options being considered, I understand, is if agreement is reached with P.P., that Candido is mayor for the 1st 2 years and then the P.P. candidate for the second 2 years. That would ensure that most of the things we want to accomplish could be.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Election Results in figures.

Below is a link to the election result figures and by my rough calculations about another 10 votes would have given us a majority!! As you can see we still had 100 votes more than our nearest rivals.

Thanks to the very many of you who voted.
A straw poll would suggest that the ExPat vote held up very well.

Discussions are ongoing and will post when the result of these is known

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Shocker

Well result is in and the following is the result of the Zurgena local elections.

Partido Andalucista 4 seats.
Partido Socialista 4 seats.
Partido Popular 3 seats.

Which means that our party may form the administration but that depends on a coalition with P.P. The worst case scenario for all expats (in my opinion) a coalition between PP and PSOE, but I think that is unlikely. It does mean that I still have a seat but we have fared far worse than I thought we would. I think this may be down to the number of expats who have returned to the UK combined with a far more agressive campaign by both our adversaries which has split the expat vote and given PSOE a potential base of power and control of our future.
When I know of any developements and what the future administration looks like I will post again.

What a Crazy Day

I was going to leave my next blog to be the result of the local elections however, because of events today I felt I should share my thoughts.
I turned up for election duty as an authorised assistant at 0730am. I was duly given my badge (to show my authority) and I saw Andreas and asked if he could advise me what I could or could not do. Basically he said you cannot discuss the election or politics you can only show people where they need to go to vote. So I started doing that and immediately noticed that one or other of the opposition parties was following me each time I did. I was then warned for the 1st time by the Guardia Civil at the behest of opposition parties, not to talk about politics or to go with electors into the rooms, both of which I wasn't doing anyway. Then after about another half an hour I got a second warning and I explained to the G.C. officer that I was only showing people where to go and asked if it was okay to do so. I was assured that it was and continued. Then of the 3rd occasion I was approached by G.C. and asked if I had spoken to a lady who had just gone into the polling room. I explained that I had asked her name and told her which room to go into. The lady in question confirmed this but the President of the room stated that she was not going to be allowed to vote whilst I was taken outside and told I was being denounced and that it was for going into the election booth with a voter and changing the voting papers. An allegation which is totally false. I then had conversations with Candido who made approaches to the G.C. but nothing seemed to be done. I just hung about waiting to see what, if anything I could do.
It did give me satisfaction to realise that the other parties were getting worried but on the other hand I was worried that they were going to win by having me excluded from helping people.
The lady who was subject of the initial complaint (I won't mention her by name in case she does not want to be identified) returned having spoken to a solicitor and when I asked if she would be kind enough to denounce the President, she happily and readily agreed to so. I know that many people would have balked at doing this so I give my my appreciation and respect to M.
Subsequently I returned as I was advised to helping people finding the right room but was again stopped by the GC at the behest of the other political parties. So in the end they won. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening outside the polling station trying not to talk to people.
Sorry I have rambled on but I have been fuming all day.
I was told by the Polizia Local later in the day that the denuncia has been withdrawn but I have had nothing official.
The result should be through in couple of hours and will post as soon as I know.
Politics eh!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nearly there

What a week this has been, very tiring. I have promised Sue that I am not going to do this again in 2015. I think 8 years will have been enough, if we get sufficient votes this time. We have tried to visit every house in the municipality so that we could tell people what our plans are, some in very out of the way places. Thanks to all for their good wishes.

Remember when you are voting on Sunday that the only reason I am standing again is down to the fact that I believe, from my knowledge and experience of the Partido Andalucista, that they really do work well and conscientiously for all the village and are the best option for our future. If I didn't I would just have walked away. If we get the same votes as 2007 we will have 2 expats on the council and I will have someone to share the work.

The political parties are not allowed to do any political canvassing or publicity on Saturday. It is called the day for reflection when people can consider the benefits of each party so that they can make their minds up. So I am looking forward to a lovely day off!

On Sunday the count takes place in the locations where the voting takes place with the results usually announced later the same night. So depending on the vote this could be the last blog posting! Well no - I would have to do one for the result.

If anyone has any questions or concerns about the election please just email me through the link at the top.

PS If you are having problems following the previous link to the PGOU it is on the Town Halls website then click through 'tablon de anuncios', 'normas', '2011' and then 'documento to para la aprobacion' and you will then find a load of files for the various areas. Locate your areas 'clasificacion' file for your area and you can then study it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Last Nights Meeting

Firstly thanks to all those who managed to get to the meeting last night it was another excellent turnout, I would guess at between 160 and 180 people.

After introductions, from myself and Mike Foulkes, Candido made the main presentation during which he mentioned some of the lies being told by opposition parties but concentrated on the achievements of the past 4 years. He then briefly listed all the planned intentions of the Partido Andalucista for the coming term should they win a majority again. It was quite impressive hearing the full list of things done.

He then went on to reveal the situation with regard to the outstanding Court cases and in his preamble emphasised that all properties in Zurgena are legal. He then revealed the latest case to be decided by the Court of Appeal in Granada and that was in relation to the houses built in Los Menchones. The Town Halls solicitors have also now won that case (he had only been informed this morning) but even more important was the fact that the court has ruled the Junta cannot take this case to the final court of appeal as it would fail. We feel therefore that all the outstanding cases will go the same way.

We then had, what I thought was an excellent presentation by the architect of the PGOU Francisco Salvadore. He is totally apolitical, as his work on this plan, has at various times over many years, involved differing political parties. He explained the process which has to be gone through to achieve an agreed plan and how and what he had done for us to get to the stage where every house in the municipality would either be on urban land or covered by a sub section of the law which covers the odd houses which lie outside to the Towns plan. In the final event every house will be standing in a legal situation when the plan is signed off. He confirmed that verbal agreement to all the content has been obtained with the Junta and the final sign off he expects to be within 5 to 6 months. He then took questions from the floor and whilst he endeavoured to answer those questions in a simple way for all to understand it seemed that some of the attendees would prefer that their houses were declared illegal as they did not seem to want to hear the facts. However a few of those present were able to get clarification of various points and the architect stated that if anyone had any concerns or issues that they could inform Luiz in the Town Hal who can always contact him.

I was disappointed to see one of the P.P. take the microphone to castigate our interpreter for no good reason other, I suspect, than to try and raise his profile but I am afraid the opposite occurred as people took a dim view of his action.

As the meeting ended for refreshments I spoke to many people who all thanked us for an informative and excellent meeting which helped them more fully understand the true nature of where we are with the plan (instead of the rubbish being talked about by other political parties)

As a result of the number of queries I had last night about how to access the PGOU on the Town Hals website I have reprinted below the process by which you can access it.

s a start the P.G.O.U. is accessible through the Town Hall website. Due to the structure of the site I am finding it difficulty to identify a direct link for me to put on here to the actual page. However, to save time for those wanting to check it out asap if you to and then down the left hand side there is a 'tablon de anuncios' button click on that icon then on the next page 'normas' followed by 2011 and then PGOU.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tonights Meeting

As has already been mentioned our only pre election meeting setting out our plans is to be held in the Renfe building tonight at 8.0pm with refreshments after.

Following my request the architect responsible for the PGOU will be in attendance and take questions.

I also suspect we may have some more good news from the courts (it is getting quite regular now) but I will leave it to Candido to announce any movement on this tonight (as it was only an overheard conversation that I am guessing this on).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Court and Meeting and Election Process

Firstly the case against Candido has been adjourned as they had not stuck to correct procedure. The Junta are furious that their attempts to keep Candido from campaigning has failed.

I discovered today that despite what PSOE said was the reason that their meting could not be held in the Renfe was nothing to do with the Town Hall. Apparently by Spanish law prior to the elections the Town Hall have to identify 2 premises which all Political parties can use. The allocation of these premises, and control of them, is done by No 3 Court in Huercal Overa. So more lies by PSOE.

Whilst discussing the meeting for Wednesday night (8.0pm at the Renfe food and drink provided) with party members I asked, based on all the questions I have been receiving, whether the Architect from Almeria, responsible for compiling the PGOU, could attend. Candido rang him and he has agreed to attend and take questions. The meeting will open with an intro from me and Mike Foulkes, then Candido will outline his parties history in the village and what we hope to achieve if returned again. We will then have questions from the floor including questions about the PGOU.

Whilst on the subject of the PGOU if you have examined it and you cannot find your property you can report this to the Town Hall by letter in Spanish with a plan of the area (either taken from Town Halls website or whatever shows your location) and mark the position. It is not necessary to do this as we can do this after approval or before. One way forward would be for those who are concerned to contact me and I will do a composite list but to be able to do that I would need you to forward to me the marked plan.

The election will be held next Sunday. For all houses south of the riverbed eg Palaces and Zurgena your location will be the Town Hall. For all north of the river, basically nearly everywhere else it will be the school in La Alfoquia. The hours will be from 0900 to 2000. If you have not received the slip from the Censor office (which is really just a notification of the election) that does not preclude you from voting. You can attend, if you are on the list, on the day with photo identification and you will be able to vote.

Talk about dirty tricks, certain opposition politicians are using children in the schools to goad and spread rumours about some of our candidates and their children. I sometimes wonder how low some politicians will go. I will continue to try and only publish positive election material and not get down to their levels, although sometimes it is very difficult to resist. I understand that both I and Mike Foulkes have been 'slagged off'to coin a phrase which I take to be a compliment.

If anyone is interested the videos of what Partido Andalucista has done over the past 8 years is shown in bits on their Facebook page. If anyone wishes to view these clips please let me know then I can invite you through Facebook to see them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Campaigning & Meeting

Got back from the UK this afternoon and straight back into the frantic preparations for the elections next Sunday.

I will be trying to get round as many homes as possible over the next 5 days so please treat me gently! If you do not think I will see you or you have a question or query about the manifesto or the past four years or you will not be able to make the meeting on Wednesday night, please let me know.

We will be having our pre-election meeting for the Partido Andalucista at 8.0pm on Wednesday night at the RENFE building in La Alfoquia which will be another chance to ask questions of the party and its leader, Candido.

For information I am advised that the garage at La Alfoquia has ceased to sell gas. If you need to replace silver gas bottles the shop in the village down the main street from Mo's is now doing them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Manifesto link

The Partido Andalucista Manifesto has been published in 3 parts.

Part 1 is of projects completed or ongoing. Part 2 is of projects which we wish to undertake should we be returned to power.

Just copy and paste the address into your search bar to access it.

Part 3 which is pictures of the work completed or ongoing across the municipality will be available when I can make it available.

Also if anyone wishes to find out more about the history or management of Partido Andalucista they have an account on Facebook at 'partidoandalucistazurgena'.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I was up until the wee hours this morning putting finishing touches to our parties manifesto ( my own fault for going to the quiz when I should have been working). I am sure many of you will be pleased with the outcome.

The Partido Andalucista has taken full notice of the comments and suggestions from the survey we conducted of the expat community and has incorporated many of the wishes of the ex pat community into the manifesto. As soon as I am allowed I will publish the most relevant sections on here. The actual manifesto has gone to the printers today so I obviously cannot disclose the contents until that is published.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Postal Voting and Post Boxes Cuesta de los Pinos

Firstly following a request at last weeks meeting I have reprinted the how to vote by post instructions below,

I am unavoidably absent on Voting Day so I will have to be a postal voter. What do I do?
This is a complex process so please do try to be in Zurgena to vote on May 22nd in person if at all possible. If you know you cannot attend in person, you will need to vote by post.
The forms for postal voting are now available at the Post Offices (Voto por Correo - Solicitud de Certificacion). You do not need ID at this stage although it is always wise to take some! You can collect more than one at a time.
However, once completed, they will have to be returned individually, in person, to the Post Office, with ID (NIE or Passport or Certificate of Residence - whichever you ticked on your form ). You will also need some form of ID with your photo on it, like your Passport or Spanish Driving License. You may want to use your Passport as ID anyway. They will need your signature to match to the original one on the form.
The Post Office will post the form on for you in an envelope which they provide. Once the form is submitted, you will not be able to vote in person in the 2011 Local Elections.

This is only the start of the process.

You will receive by certified post (in your apartado, if you have one) the voting papers for all the parties standing in the election with the different candidates listed, an instruction sheet, the electoral envelopes, a certificate of inscription and an envelope with the address of the polling station sheet. This will be between May 2nd- 12th. Again, you will need to sign a notice of receipt and provide proof of identity at the post office. No-one else can collect the papers on your behalf - you must do this in person.
This process has to be completed no later than 10 days before Voting Day on May 22nd: in other words, before 12th May.
When you have collected the papers, you will then have to select the one voting slip of the party of your choice which must not be written on. You must put this into the voting envelope which must be sealed. This envelope, together with the certificate, must be placed in the envelope addressed to the polling station and sent by registered post (no stamps needed) before May 18th (but it would be foolish to leave it this late, given the vagaries of the Spanish postal system). Again, You will need to provide proof of identity
This all takes time (this is Spain, after all!) so it is vital you get your postal voting application form(s) right now to avoid missing the deadline.

Secondly the Correos have been in touch to say that they believe there are quite a few more people in the Cuesta de los Pinos or Cucador areas who would like a postal box (like the ones opposite La Vida). I suspect that it would help the Post Office if everyone had a postal box. When we had the 1st one built it cost about 30 euros as a one off payment. If anyone who is interested could email me I will see what the response is and if sufficient we will see what can be arranged.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Election Day Process

Voting Slips

Voting slips are dropping in the letter boxes this week (got mine) from the oficina del censo electoral, marked Tarjeta Censal Elecciones, Mayo 2011.

Election Day - Sunday 22nd May, what to expect,courtesy of Lenox Napier Entertainer on Line -

Go to your voting station on May 22nd. Check your name on the list posted at the door (foreigners have their own separate list...). Enter and go behind the curtain. You will find piles of voting papers from each party (I think there will be 4 for Zurgena one for each party contesting the election, P.A. and 3 others) and a pile of envelopes. Chose one 'papeleta' (voting paper). Do not mark it. Fold it in two and put it in the envelope - this is your vote.

Take it to the polling table. They will check your ID (bring your passport preferably, or other photographic ID) and they will cross you off the list. You put your envelope in the ballot box.

There will be people called 'interventores' on hand, wearing badges from their parties, all offering to help. They can show you where to go, but can not come in behind the curtain with you. Smile to them all, but remember your vote is private.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Called into the office this morning and it was even more manic than usual. Candido had just been informed that he has to attend a court case on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th May. Strange how the timing of the case coincides with the week prior to the election! Looks like canvassing may be more difficult and may need to be undertaken without the Mayor for at least some of the time.

I stressed that we needed to be able to let the people get some answers regarding the PGOU and no matter how difficult it was we need to make that option available. I said that, if it was not going to be feasible to get sufficient time for me to be trained, then we needed a meeting. Candido said he would make arrangements for the Architect and councillors responsible to attend a meeting at a date convenient to them all but as soon as he could arrange it. They would then be able to take questions.

Just to give another example of the unfair treatment which P.A. has to attend with is exemplified by our meeting dates. It is generally accepted that whichever party has the most seats on the Council gets first choice on the dates for their meetings. We had asked for the 20th May and guess what PSOE have been allocated that date!

There is a change to Guardia Civil operations in the area. Whereas at the moment out of hours calls are dealt with by G.C. from Huercal Overa it is now going to be officers from Albanchez, and Albox who will attend. Not a good idea for promptness! The reason I found this out is that two officers were in the Town Hall obtaining street maps of the area for their information.

There are major problems with the WiFi. There are 2 technical guys working on it for the past couple of days. They think some illegal antennae may be interfering with the signal and they are trying to track that down and fix the problem.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Doctors Appointment System

I am advised (by Mike Foulkes) that the below translation (sorry for any mistakes) is copied from a circular regarding the process now available for making appointments at the doctors. I understand you will need to have the following details when you call or contact the number eg your name. address, NIE, Medical Card Numer, your doctors name, surgery address and required appointment time and date. We believe that the number is manned by an english speaker. If anyone has any further helpful information regarding this system just let us know.

We are in the process of finishing the new Medical centre in Zurgena which will be located at the old Town Hall. When that is organised I will post further.

Doctors Appointment System – Translation

Health Answers 902 505 060

Health 24 HOURS

In a Call - Within your reach - What matters


Your Health is our Focus
Fax: 953 018 715
E-mail / Internet:


Subscribe at SMS Service.
Get your mobile information health.
Register at 902 505 060

.You can apply and arrange an appointment with your doctor or family doctor, without coming to your clinic. 
Call  902 505 060, or contact through our other access routes: fax, e-mail and internet..!. Now you can also make an appointment through sms. lnforrnation / health

Health answers, moreover, offers and Health Service: 
24 hours, which you can ask about:

- PEDIATRICS: Care and feeding in infancy ..
- SEXUALlDAD: transmission of sexual  Diseases, and contraception ..
- Most common diseases: heart diseases, diabetes,
cancer, smoking, allergies, 
choice of hospital medical or, request a second medical opinion, living will register ...

In compliance with the provisions of Law 15/1999 of 13 December,
Data Protection Personal and Character applicable regulations, he responds Health
reports that personal data in documentary record / telebnico of
request for treatment are incorporated into a computer file. If desired,
exercise their rights of access, rectficacion, cancellation and opposition, as provided by law,
directing their writing to the following drreccion:

Health Neurotraurnatology.Ctra Responde.Recinto Hospital. Bailen Motril · s(n.23009. Jaen.
Telethon: 953 January 1987 00. Fax: 953 01 January

Last Night & Tonight

Last night we had our presentation of the candidates for the Partido Andalucista for the upcoming elections. What a great reception we had from the over 200 people who attended. I think the split of nationalities was probably representative in the audience. It seemed about 40% ex pat and 60% Spanish. Many thanks to all those who attended.

The younger candidates were obviously very nervous but it was nice to see how well received they were by the people there. Each candidate had to walk to the stage and introduce themselves and their intro was interpreted. I made a point, during my intro, of stressing how honest, kind and helpful all the party members had been to me over the past 4 years and was because of that that I had agreed to stand again. Candido made a speech in which he highlighted the falsehoods and dirty politics being employed by the opposition party and he then introduced a 15 minute video of some of the new things that his administration had completed. I am hoping we can upload that to the internet for people to view who could not make the meeting.

As we had previously arranged Mike, and I, and hopefully Candido, and maybe one or two other P.A. candidates will be in La Vida this evening to have an informal meeting with anyone who wishes to come along.

The Wifi should be fixed later today.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Candidate Presentation and Video

Just a last minute reminder for anyone who has got internet connection (problems with the main lines) today, Monday, the presentation of the candidates for Partido Andalucista and a video will be shown in the Renfe at 8.0pm tonight.