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Friday, September 30, 2011

Pleno 30.9

Wow what a record Pleno. Although there appeared to be little of contention on the agenda for todays Pleno it turned out to be the longest I have ever attended. It started at midday and went on until just after 3.0pm! The main reason for the lengthy nature of the meeting was the number of points raised by the PSOE opposition and the number of questions they tabled at the end of the meeting. I will do a fuller resume of the Pleno when I have time to put it together however it did mean that my question time for Kiko and Candido had to be postponed until early next week.

A couple of things I managed to progress prior to the Pleno included the negotiations between the Town Hall and Galasa for the provision of mains water to those houses (Promar Builders) not currently connected to the mains in the Los Llanos area. Sampo, who is now the councillor for liaison with Galasa, informed me that he had been in discussions with Galasa and these were progressing. He hoped to have further news next week. I mentioned to him a few other properties, that do not have mains water, and he asked me to provide details of the occupant and any documentary information and he would try and take those cases up as well. The cases I know of I will contact but, if I have not contacted you, and you are in this postion please let me know so that I can give him a comprehensive list.

Another thing I found out about is the small court for dealing with minor disagreements whih is known as the Court of Peace and is held in Zurgena, organised by the Town Hall and chaired by Judge Jaime. This court will hear disagreements and the judge will rule on these matters as a court of 1st instance before anyone needs to take it to the full courts and start incurring costs.  All that is required is that the people involved contact the Town Hall with details of the dispute etc and the people involved and then the case will be listed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have collected my car after the rat damage was repaired. It may be worthy of mentioning on here, as I am the 3rd person to suffer from this in the past few years. I and at least two of my neighbours have suffered from damage to our vehicles as a result of rodents chewing through cabling or piping. I understand from my mechanic that it is quite common. His advice is always to leave some poison near your car and this will help prevent such an expensive bit of damage. My car is always garaged and not even in the open but the rat got in.

I will be calling into the Zurgena Town Hall tomorrow and again on Friday as we have a Pleno meeting then. I hope to resolve some of the many outstanding issues, during the next couple of days as I should be able to see the main people.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


My apologies again. I am still waiting for my car being repaired. The problem is that I have to wait for Candido and Kiko to be in the Town Hall. When I am notified, that they are there, I tell them to wait and drive in. They have not been in the office a lot lately usually attending meetings elsewhere.

I promise I will do my best to see them this coming week and apologise again for the delay especially those  awaiting a response regarding the water situation and Galasa.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Car Trouble

This time the problem in getting things sorted is more my fault. Unfortunately my car has a fault and has been in the garage since Monday. They will not get the replacement part until middle of next week so I am a bit stuck. I have been unable to get into the TH this week. I could have walked but I do not like discussing things whilst sweating like a pig! Not fair on those present.

I will obviously get to the Zurgena NHW AGM tomorrow night at Latinos at 6.30pm. I have to, as I have got all the equipment that is needed. If you have an hour to kill tomorrow night it might be worthwhile going as, apart from the usual NHW stuff, we have a very interesting visiting speaker from an Earthship!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Post Boxes Update

Just to let those of you know, who have ordered a box in the new casetas, being built for Los Menchones (10 boxes through David Mallard) Cuesta de los Pinos (20 boxes, myself) and Los Llanos del Peral (10 boxes, Donna Walker) that the order has been placed and should be manufactured next week.

I believe all boxes requested have now been ordered. If you wanted one and have not confirmed your order to the appropriate person the last chance to be included, which may have already passed, will be by 0900 Monday 19th September. We will not be doing this again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anniversary & WiFi

These are the reason I have not get anything done this week. It was our anniversary yesterday so stayed in this hotel at the side of Lake Negratin, North of Baza. If you ever fancy a night by the lake this hotel was super and and the dinner was great. DBB for €125 with views to die for and I must recommend the salads.

Anyway enough of pleasure. The WiFi has been down again and this time it is due to a fault outside of our control. Telecom are investigating and hope to get it sorted soon.

I will try and sort some of the outstanding isues out tomorrow or early next week. Sorry for delay but you can see why.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Update (Post Summer)

Had a good long meeting with Candido and Kiko this morning to catch up how things stand at the moment and to raise some of our outstanding issues. I will list them in order of importance as I see it.

1. IBI Bills (Spanish version of Council tax). As you know we, as a council, indicated that these bills would be going out to all householders this August/September. That transpires not to be exactly accurate. The process (why am I not surprised) is more complicated than that. The Council have prepared and submitted to the Diputacion (the authority controlling IBI) details of about half the houses so far in Zurgena municipality. Salvadore, who is doing this work, will be submitting the remainder over the next few weeks. I am advised that what happens next is down to the Diputacion. But one important point of note is that, when they accept the paperwork for each property they should inform, by post, the occupier of that property, that they have accepted this and the clock, for the purposes of calculating what is to be paid starts. For example for a person with a Licence of 1st Occupation dated before 6th September 2007 who is notified that their paperwork has been received on say 1st December then the calculation for IBI will start on 1st December 2007 and if it takes the Diputacion one year to get the bill out they would then have a total of 5 years to pay. If however, they get the bill out this year then it would of course only be the 4 years. Please bear in mind whatever the scenario, regarding time frames, the Town Hall will be allowing payment by instalments. We still do not know how much the average annual bill will be but as I said in a previous post, I myself am budgeting in the region of €250 per annum. It was interesting to note that Candido stated that whilst they have made every effort to ensure the records are correct there may be some anomalies which need to be sorted out when eventually the Diputacion issue the bills and he asked that I let people know any such anomalies will be corrected when the Town Hall knows of them.
2. Certificate of Antiquity rather than License of 1st Occupation. The same rules will apply to a householder who has a Certificate of Antiquity rather than a Lic of 1st Occ. eg if that Cert shows the house was finished more than 4 years ago the 4 year rule will apply.
3. No Licence of 1st Occupation. The position the Town Hall has taken regarding all properties in the area is that they are all properly accounted for and therefore will receive IBI bills even if no Licence of 1st Occupation has been issued. However, it is believed that due to Spanish law once a householder is paying IBI they can apply to the Town Hall for a Licence of 1st Occupation (as mentioned some time ago).
4. Situation re court cases against the Town Hall. I had been informed that New Horizons were telling people that Anthonio had won a case in the Courts. I asked about this and Candido did confirm that a case, involving 50 to 60 houses on Cuesta de los Pinos, had been heard in the Appeal Court in Granada and the case had been found in favour of the Town Hall. There is still the option for the jUnta to take this to the highest Court in the country in Madrid but as they have lost the last 2 cases there we suspect they may not appeal it. The only other Court case in recent months, to be heard by the appeal court, was one in relation to the houses in Los Menchones which was also won by the Town Hall.
5. PGOU. When I raised this issue Candido gave a sigh and said that he was less than confident about the actions of the Junta regarding our PGOU. They, the Medio Ambient dept of the Junta have been asked by Zurgena Council to provide sectorial informs regarding the ramblas and some other detail, at the request of the Junta! Candido stated that they had not responded to our request and he felt they would respond slowly to any of the councils in the valley, as PSOE is blatantly blocking anything for the Almanzora valley again. We can only hope that in the elections in March they get well defeated, as seems likely, and we can get a Junta that we can deal with sensibly. It may be that the Medio Ambiente dept do respond and if they do we can move it forward.
6. Town Hall website for expats. I had heard rumour that this was to be an option but when I spoke to Candido and Kiko they said that this was unlikely. The existing may be amended but no new one is planned.
7. Street Lights. I raised with Candido the issue of street lights not working. Of which there are many. He informed me that most of these non functioning lights are covered by agereemenst with the companies who installed them. he would take the matter up with them and said he hoped they would attend to them all within a couple of weeks. I asked if it would help is people reported the streets where lights were out. he said that it would help, so if your street has lights which are not working please let me know. The ones I am aware of are Calle Francia, Irlanda, Finlandia, Malta in Cuesta de los Pinos, Calle Ter in Los Menchones and Calle Juan Ramon Jiminez in Llanos.
8. There have been no plenos whilst I have been on holiday.
9. Bowling Green. We are having serious problems with the company contracted to build the bowling green as they are saying that there is insufficient money in the contract to do a perfectly level concrete base. We maintain that the contract does cover that and we are holding them to it. Until that s finished to a satisfactory level then we cannot move to the next stage of the developement of the green, but we will keep pushing them.

As you can see there was a lot to cover, as is the way with September, but if you have any concerns or I have not clearly explained anything just let me know, through the mail link at the top of this page. Additionally as it has been along time since I managed to get into the Town Hall if you had an issue which I have not yet responded to please drop me a mail.

Addendum. The Wifi has suffered problems the past two days due to some vandals cutting the power supply to the cock tower in more than one place. It is being attended to today.