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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

IBI and 3rd Age

Called into the Town Hall this morning and signed some papers relevant to a celebratory day for the 3rd Age (OAPs). This event is to be held around the 7th October and is a day long event for the elderly. I will make more details known nearer the time but it is an annual event which is hosted in different villages each year and his year it is the turn of Zurgena to host it. I think it must be a good 'do' as the costing for it €7,500!

Just to let you all know that Salvadore is still optimistic that the IBI bills will be going out to all households this September, as mentioned in previous blogs. To remind everyone that the Town Hall will raise these bills for a maximum retrospective period of 4 years or to the date of grant of the licence of 1st Occupation whichever came last. It is impossible to estimate what the annual rate will be as it is affected by so many factors. Just to give people a very rough indication I am budgeting for a total €1,000 for the 4 years.

I have ensured that Paco has all the lists for the street signs and lighting issues but with it being August coming up I don't expect lots to be resolved soon. Due to holidays and the time of year I do not envisage many updates to this blog during the next four weeks. I think the only days the Town Hall will be closed during August are 15th and 31st althoughn Andreas may be on his own quite a lot during this period.

Monday, July 25, 2011

List for Reconfirmation for Padron

As some of you may recall the Town Hall is supplied with a list every year of a random selection of names which the T.H. is tasked with checking that they should still be on the Padron. Please see below the current alphabetical list of those for whom we do not have telephone numbers. If your name is on the list or you know someone who is on it please ask them to call into the T.H. with their certificate of NIE or passport to confirm they should still be on the padron.

Pamela M Aldridge, David J Arnold, Karen A Baber, Natalie H Barr,John H Booth, Lesley F Booth,Richard A Brownlee, Janet Bull, Jeremy S Bull, Adele Bunting, Ann Calway, Samuel P Catchlove, Carl J Chapman, Joshua L Chapman, Samual J Chapman,Stuart N Cowap, Stephen J Dodsworth, Robert C Duggan, Michael E Ferre, Angela E Gould,Ian Gould, Michael R Goulder, Christopher P Hartley, Sarah L Hartley, Graham Haworth, Marion A K Haworth,Susan Hawes, Malcolm Hawes, Anthony M Hembery,Jennifer J Hembery, Richard J Holmes, Patricia R Hope, Dorothy Jeffcott, Derek Manchester,Vanessa L Manchester, Susan McCarthy, Daniel McGrory, Jamie R Macpherson, Derek G Marnoch, Christine A Marshall, Dennis Marshall, Kelly Metcalfe, Jeffrey Metcalfe, Bertyl A Miller, Davuid Miller, Elizabeth A Minta, Richard D Minta, Kevin D McGowan, Deborah J Morgan, Keith R Morgan, Margaret E Neal, Robert A Neal, Janice S M Onslow, Michael J Onslow, Paul Paddison, Susana E I Paddison, Derek Partington, Susan M Partington, Stephen A Pate, Graham Perrior, Aron C Priest, David J Porter, Jill Porter, Peter D Reld, Sharon T Salt, Jack Senior, Cynthia Seniuor, Dawn P Scott, Paul Scott, Rolf Schafing,Alaine J Singer, Christopher Singer, Julie D Summerson, Claire Amy Steel, Lille M Stewart, Donald S Thomas, Rachel M L Thomas, Lydia Unger, Eileen T Wallis, Stephen R Wallis.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Post Office Service Alterations

I have now been made aware of the fact that the Correos is going to cease holding post for areas which have available post boxes (Apartados) such as Llanos del Peral, Barrio de Chicago, Cucador, El Rocio, Los Menchones, Cuesta de los Pinos and Los Carasoles. This has been an aim of the Correos for some time and we need to ensure that those who wish to have mail delivered have the facility to receive it.

The current plan by the Correos is to cease this service by September or October of 2011.

This does not mean the Zurgena Correos Office will close for business it just means that they plan to offer a more pro-active delivery service. I need to find out more detail on this from Jose Aran the services manager and I will email him today.

The Correos Office will issue a more informative public notice in due course.

In relation to Los Llanos del Peral a circular is going round from the NHW coordinator Mr Walker to try and ensure that all those in that area who wish to have post delivered make their desires known to Mr Walker or me as soon as possible.

Secondly we had a good meeting yesterday regarding the Bowling Green for La Alfoquia. A number of suggestions were made and although the funding for the top surface is some months away we have got a commitment, I believe, to ensure that it is top quality. We have also looked at a few alterations to the layout to try and improve its standard of facilities.

Monday, July 18, 2011

18th July Pleno

We had our second Pleno meeting today. It went well and dealt with a couple of minor points including the help to be given to the agricultural sector and the agreement of the allocation of some more of the management positions for the councillors.

As usual a short meeting was held thereafter in the local bar which gave me the opportunity to deal with some other issues.

Firstly I raised the issue of the article, which some people had forwarded to me, regarding an article in some of the english papers, regarding a statement from the Junta about a decree which would help legalise properties but would, in effect, never give them full legal status. I showed Candido a translated copy of this article and he stated that he knew nothing of this suggestion and in any case we are, and will, continue to fight for full legal status for all our properties.

I have arranged to sit down with Candido and others from the Council in September to discuss how I can fulfil my new role for the 3rd Age and bring some new and supportive ideas to the role.

I again supplied Candido with a list of the street signs that are still not fitted. He agreed to speak with Paco regarding this list, the last time I had given Paco this list was October 2010). He also said that he would set the workers on, sorting the street lighting issues, on the streets I had informed him of last week, as soon as they have sorted the Fiesta lights.

I asked whether he felt that it was worthwhile doing the area street plans and he agreed and said we should get on with that after the holidays.

I also asked about when we could meet with the people regarding the bowling green surface and he said that he needed to discuss with Luiz, the architect, how much money we have left from the contract, within which is the budget for the bowling green, to see how much money is left before we meet. He agreed to discuss the situation with Luiz tomorrow morning and as I am in the Town Hall in the afternoon I can try and sort out a meeting with the surface suppliers after then.

We also had a further discussion about the Socribo houses electricity, a situation which was much more complex than I had realised but we seem to be nearer seeing a resolution.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Los Llanos del Peral Fire

The fire just to the North west of Llanos Del Peral last night was quite quickly dealt with by the authorities and it was restricted to the campo area.
It did look from our place as if it was threatening the village itself but a visit to the area this morning reveals that it did not get within reach of any buildings.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Staff at Zurgena

Was having a surgery this morning and discovered that the Town Hall has a replacement member of staff for Maribel (who is off on maternity leave). The replacement is a pleasant young man named Pedro Gomez, previously worked in Roquetas. This should help Andreas.

I delivered a dated, list of the streets where street lights were not working and we will see how quickly we get them working.

Whilst I was there I raised the idea, that I mentioned last year, about each area having a decent street plan displayed in a prominent position. It seems this idea might be better received this time around and so I will pursue it.

We are to have another Pleno session next Monday at 12 noon but the main purpose is to do with agricultural issues.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More on Last Pleno Zurgena

Just realised I had not detailed some aspects of the last Pleno including the roles and responsibilities given to some of the councillors at the last Pleno. They are as follows,

Councillor with responsibility for Culture and Sport is Noelia Garcia Jiminez.
Councillor with responsibility for Public Services and Works is Candido Trabalon
Councillor with responsibility for the 3rd age, myself. I will speak with the other councillors but obviously I will need to meet with the people who currently representative the elderly in the villages. It is also my intention should I be allowed to, and I see no reason why not, to involve the ex pat elderly community and I will give some consideration as to how best to do this.

Additionally there was identified the councillors with responsibility for the various Organisations which have to be completed by law and these were,
La Alfoquia public school and Public Schools Franscisco Jose Ramos Martinez with Ana Isabel Sola Gomez.
Catastro, Salvador Ramon Sagarra Robles with Sampo Kullervo Pentilla.
Galasa, Sampo Kullervo Pentilla with Candido Trabalon
Consorcio of Fire and Rescue Noelia Garcia Jiminez with Ana Isabel Sola Gomez.
Proder, Candido Trabalon
Consorcio Levante (Refuse) Ana Isabel Sola Gomez, with Noelia Garcia Jimenez.
Mancommunidad de Almanzora (Representative body for all the valley) Francisco Jose Ramos Martinez with Candido Trabalon.

We also at that meeting established the composition of the Information Commissions for Hacienda and accounts and Urbanism. It was agreed that the commisisions be made up of the Mayor or his elected deputy and 2 reps from each of PA and PSOE and the Town Hall secretary.

Also included in this meeting was the agreement for the salaries for both the Mayor and his deputy. Lastly was the agreement for the position of Tesorero (this is the 3rd signatory required for all payments made by the Town Hall, the other two being the Mayor and Secretary) and we agreed that Salvadore from PA should be this person.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Drink Drive Campaign

Guardia Checks this week - Courtesy of Simply Spanish and Bruce Hobday. Thought it was worth putting on here for Zurgena residents.

20,000 breathalyser tests in Spain next week

A new awareness campaign is being carried out by the DGT

The DGT traffic authority is running 20,000 breathalyser tests across the country from Monday to next Sunday, as part of a general campaign against drink driving.

It will see members of the Federation of Spinal Court Injury Association accompany the Tráfico officers at more than 1,000 control points being set up on the roads. They will remind drivers ‘in situ’ of the very serious consequences that can result from drink driving.

In 2010 the Guardia Civil handed out 102,000 fines for positive breathalyser tests, and 16,000 were considered to have committed a crime for their high levels of alcohol. 42% of the drivers who died in traffic accidents last year tested positive for alcohol, drugs or psychotropic drugs.

Read more:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ist Pleno - Interesting!

Well today was the inaugural Plenary session of the new Administration for Zurgena and what an attendance there was. Given that, for the past 4 years, the average attendance of the public has averaged 1-2 persons, todays attendance of over 80 was quite an event. I was pleased to see a couple of expats there to! Andreas was a bit concerned at such a large crowd, but it worked out okay.

We had, as usual, a short pre meeting during which all points of the meeting were explained to me, to ensure that I was in agreement with our stance. This is the way we have worked for the past 4 years and I am glad we did.

Before the meeting started one of our opposition members, from PSOE, Luiz, approached and explained that there were no hard feelings about things which happened before and during the elections as it was only politics. I agreed and shook hands saying that that I understood and bore no bad feelings.

We worked through the agenda and agreed various positions etc The main ones of those being Hacienda - Salvadore, Galasa- Sampo, Public Works - Candido etc. The main purpose was to assign the roles for those bodies which are legally required and left the others to be dealt with by full Pleno meetings. It was also agreed that the full Council would sit at a minimum of once every 3 months. I will post a full list of roles and responsibilities later.

It was agreed that the role of Tesorero (eg the 3rd signature for all cheques etc for the Town Hall) would be Salvadore, (our No 2).

The opposition questioned whether Kiko was going to conduct a full Town Hall audit, as promised by PP prior to the election. Kiko responded by saying that he had found the Town Hall accounts to be in fine order and he did not think the Town Hall could afford the 30,000 euros it would cost to do something which, having seen the accounts, he felt was worthwhile.

During the meeting Maria Jose of PSOE, supported by Luiz, complained that, due to my lack of understanding of Spanish, I would be incompetent for holding any role within the Council and also that I could not understand any statements they (PSOE) were making during Plenary sessions. I suspect that she, and they, feel that I will be biased towards the expat community in any role I have. This could not be further from the truth of my intentions and hopefully I can disprove this attitude, during the next few months. The latter point I could see value in, but I doubt that they would entertain the only option I could suggest, which would be that they provide me, in advance, any issues they wish to be considered.

This suggestion , of my incompetence, was robustly refuted by Candido who, pleasingly for me, stated how much he had been impressed by my ability and effort over the past 4 years. That was nice. It does appear that I shall have a support role for security and a main role for the 3rd Age. In relation to the latter I will post separately some action I believe we need to take to balance things between expat elderly and local elderly.

Apart from the attack on my competence there was little that the opposition made any point on.

I thought Kiko did a good job of managing and controlling his first Pleno meeting.

After the meeting we (PP and PA) adjourned to the bar and I had the usual opportunity to get some particular points answered. Most of these points are particular to individuals so will not waste space here but contact the individuals directly.

I did however tell Candido that I would be compiling a list of street lights not working. He explained that there was a problem with the contracted maintenance company for the lights and he and Kiko need to discuss but if I supplied him with a list he would see what could be done. So those of you with a problem with lighting (except Calle Malta already noted) , please email me and I will let him have the details. Once I had done that he said that he would return the favour by asking me about things to do with the 3rd age.

Candido did ask that I mention the fact that there are activity classes at the municipal pool between 9am and 2.0pm and 8.0pm and 10pm each weekday for residents.

I also discovered that Candido is not taking any salary from the Town Hall, in his role as councillor for Public Services, and is now signing on at the employment office

I have been asked by the owner of the building, currently used as the Supermarket Bonillo, in the centre of Zurgena, to advertise the fact that this, 150 sq metres building premises, will soon be available for rent for any type of business. If anyone is interested please contact me and I can put them in touch with the appropriate person.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pleno and Party

I have been invited today to a party for PP and PA councillors to get together with their partners, however, I have an urgent insurance investigation to undertake (paid work!) down South so will be unable to make it.

The rearranged first Plenary Session (Council meeting) of the new administration, is now to be held next Wednesday 6th July at 12 noon.