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My email

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bits 28th October

Had a meeting with Candido this morning for about an hour to go over some things. It was fine at first as I had Andreas interpreting, however, as he had a lot of work to do prior to him starting a months holiday, Sampo took over.

I first asked about the pavement being built at Cuesta de los Pinos. Candido confirmed that the paving would extend from Calle Francia for 500 metres north along the east side of Avenida Europa. It will not, in the near future extend to the south.

I asked if they could take down all the Political Election signs as they are becoming an eyesore for many. They agreed to do that in the next few weeks.

I did praise him for the work done on the entrance to Zurgena as it looked greatly improved with the work already done and many people had conveyed their appreciation of this work.

I again raised the issue of the deterioration  of the road through Cucador by the big illegal house. He said that he would need to speak with Kiko as he, as Mayor, would need to send a letter to them telling them to put it right otherwise the Town Hall would have to do it and bill them the cost.

I raised the issue of the potholes in Avenida Palaces where it as temporarily repaired prior to their fiesta last year. He informed me that a project for the resurfacing of this road has been approved but due to budget constraints he could not say that it would be completed before the end of the year more likely early next year.

I provided Candido (again) with a list of the streets which do not have street signs on

Cuesta de los Pinos, 
Calle Moldavia, Calle Hungria,Calle Austria, Calle Latvia, Calle Grecia, Calle Bulgaria, Calle Letonia, Calle Islandia,
Los Llanos  
Avenida Poetas, Calle Nicolas Salmeron, Calle Pedro Salinas, Calle Juan Ramon Jimenez 
Los Carasoles
Calle Nalon, Calle Segura, Calle Odiel
La Alfoquia 
Avenida de Aracena y Picos de Aroche,
Calle Montinegro, 
Los Cabreras
Avenida Los Cabreras, 

If you know of any other streets without signs please let me know so that I can add them to the list. I suspect that we will need to reorder the signs for those streets.

There was no further news on any court cases.

I asked for clarification of the IBI situation for people without Licences of 1st Occupation and I was told that where the Town Hall could justify that a property had been built, stood and occupied for more than 4 years they would be asked to pay the 4 years. This would include people with Certificates of Antiquity. Sorry if I misled people it was not intentional it was my misunderstanding of the situation. 

As you may have noticed in the first paragraph Andreas is not going to be about much for the next month or two. He is starting a period of 4 weeks holidays and then shortly after he returns his wife is due to give birth and he will have another 15 days holidays paternity leave.

As usual any queries or issues please just drop me an email.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pleno 25th Oct, & Earthquake

Called into the Town Hall this morning and discovered that there was a Pleno at midday. Apparently the Polizia Local thought I was still in the UK and so I was unaware.

It was a pretty boring Pleno. The main purpose being to approve a pig farm near Almajalejo which was unanimously approved. Unfortunately the PSOE party spent the first 45 minutes complaining that they felt that Isa (stand in Town Hall Secretary) was not accurately recording minutes of the meetings. A point which I felt was unfair as Isa has shown to be very unbiased in all her dealings over the year.  Also this is a point which can be argued after any type of meeting. The meetings are recorded and these are available and we have even reached the digital age with a new digital recorder rep;lacing our old cassette tape recorder! The other points in the meeting were quite dry. Due to the meeting taking 2 hours I have arranged to see Candido later in the week to discuss the other outstanding issues.

On my way into town I was pleased to see the extent to which the Town Hall has improved the approach to Zurgena from La Alfoquia. They have cleared the area of all the rubbish from the VP housing at the top of the hill, inset the name of the town and made it all much more tidy. When you think that this was one of the points that came highest up the list on our survey in January of this year you can see that we have had an effect.

The Town Hall has also commenced work on paving one side of Avenida Europa/ As I understand it when completed it should reach from the lowest entry to Cuesta de los Pinos up to Calle Finlandia on the one side of the road and will have planting.

Earthquake. Those of you who woke up at about 1.30am, probably, are aware that we had a sizeable earthquake. According to the Spanish website which covers such events it was variously reported as being between 3.7 and 4.1 on the richter scale with the epicentre 2 kms nNE of Zurgena. It fairly shook the doors of my house!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back in Harness

I had to return to the UK top assist a family member and that is the reason for no posts these past 2 week.

I will get into the Town Hall later this week and see what is happening.

I should aso get the new post boxes for the areas wanting them later this week but will email directly to those concerned when that is done.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Copy from Euro Weekly

I am indebted to Geoff Williams for forwarding thois info for me to post on here which comes from a Euro Weekly article. 

THE British Consulate is holding a series of open events in Almeria Province, to offer advice on some of the issues that matter most to British people living in Spain.
As well as learning more about the services offered by the Consulate, British residents will have the opportunity to find out about their pension and benefit rights and responsibilities. Health matters will also be on the agenda with the team providing information on issues such as how to register for healthcare in Spain and where to apply for the European Health Insurance Card.
British Consul Steve Jones said: “We’re really keen to help British residents integrate into Spanish life, and get the most out of living in Spain.  This is a great chance to hear from the experts about your rights, and also your obligations, when living here.  By holding three events in different parts of the province, we hope to reach as many people as possible.”
Those interested in attending can pre-book one-to-one appointments with the Pension, Benefit and Healthcare Team. These will follow the main presentation.  It should be noted that the staff attending are representatives for Consular services, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health, and therefore property matters will not be discussed.
The events will take place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 October as follows:
Arboleas – Wednesday October 26, 5pm (doors 4:30pm). Mueso Pedro Gilabert, Plaza Pedro Gilabert, Arboleas
Vera – Thursday  October 27, 9:30am (doors 9am). Aula de Cultura, Sala de Exposiciones, Plaza Mayor, Vera
Roquetas de Mar – Thursday  October 27, 3pm (doors 2:30pm). Library - Biblioteca Municipal, Salon de Actos, Plaza Luis Martin, 04740 Roquetas de Mar
To book a place online, please visit  
If you experience any problems booking or do not have Internet access, call 902 109 356 and choose options 13 and then 8. Please note places are limited and can only be guaranteed if reserved in advance.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Columbus Day

Following my invitation to the celebrations for todays holiday (Columbus Day) I found I had enough time to attend the Mass in the morning at the San Ramon Nonato Iglesia in Zurgena andy the party afterwards at the Guardia Civil Cuartel.

The morning service was as usual conducted by the local priest who, if everyone spoke Spanish like he does, we would find it easier to learn the language. The service lasted about an hour and was very informal. Both children and dogs were walking in and out of the church.

Then at 2.0pm the celebrations in honour of the village patron Virgen del Pilar took place at the Guardia Civil barracks. Wish I had cleared my diary for the day. Initially offered was wine and beer then the most fantastic paella I have ever tasted arrived (made as I found out at the Ballabona restaurant) and having served everyone with a portion, soft drinks were served, but only momentarily, as it was quickly followed with spirits. rum, whisky, gin, everything. As I already had plans for the rest of the day I did not partake but think I will keep my diary entry for next year clear!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Update 11/10 at last

Got a call from the Town Hall this morning to the effect that Candido could see me this morning! I agreed to be in for 11.30 and at last we sat down and got through some issues. The 1st problem was that I was wanted to attend a meeting of the 3rd Age on Friday (which I probably am going to unable to make). Why don't they give me more notice?

At first we discussed a number of points regarding some residents of Cucador on unsegregated land which he gave me some advice on.

I reported to him the lights that have been reported to me as not working. He was exceedingly annoyed at the ones on Cuesta de los Pinos not working as he had already had a discussion about these. He was going to visit himself tonight to see all those not working and get the company back. Regarding the Los Carasoles ones this is more complicated and I will email those who reported them.

I asked on behalf of a couple of the residents who had asked to see the Plans for Zurgena. He confirmed that that should be no problem but that those wishing to do so should ask for an appointment with Ana who is now the Councillor for Building etc. He could see no reason for her not to allow such requests.

I had had a few complaints regarding people leaving leaflets etc on top of the post boxes around the area. I was informed that this is the result of people being paid to deliver leaflets house to house who cannot be bothered. He even told me that at the time of the bullfight in Zurgena the Town Hall had fallen foul of this and been denounced. No one is allowed to deposit large quantities of leaflets in such a scenario and if anyone does so again then we can either inform the company or report it with a copy of the leaflet to the Guardia Civil.

I asked about vermin control and the amount of dog mess littering various areas which I had received a number of complaints about. Unfortunately due to the reshuffle this is not an area that our councillors has any responsibility for now and it is a matter for the new Mayor. I asked how we can have some impact on the Mayors decisions on what to do about this and he said that if people lodged complaints on the standard form available at the Town Hall this would help. I will get Andreas to do a specimen one and run off some copies for people to sign which could lead to some action being taken.

Regarding the Bowling Green we need now to give the Town Hall an update of the figures for the remainder of the work necessary and then he can fight to get the appropriate budget for that. I will contact the people for that.

I had a query about the Bar La Campsa and when it could be rented. It transpires that no decision has been made about this bar as it was meant to be solely for use by the 3rd Age in La Alfoquia and it is up to them what happens with it.

I asked about a recent entry in the press regarding the Mayor of Huercal Overa stating that they were going to be putting a green route through Los Carasoles. He said this is right and wrong. Firstly Huercal Overa's area of authority stops at a point to the east of Los Carasoles however, there is a Plan from the Comunidad de Almanzora involving all the councils in the valley to utilise this old railway line to provide a green/cycle route. Work has started on the furthest west of these, at Seron, and the work should reach our area by 2013 or 2014.

I also asked about whether we, as a council, are issuing building licences and I was told that the short answer is no however, each application would be treated on its merits and whether they could grant them without any problems. I suspect that that means small building licences may be acceptable but not construction licences.

Other matters which were discussed and cannot be published will be communicated by email to those involved.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marie Celeste & Holiday

Called into the Town Hall again this morning. It was like the Marie Celeste, only Isa and Juanjo there.
Left letters detailing the outstanding issues for Sampo, Candido and Andreas. Will try again tomorrow.

Just to remind people that Wednesday is a Bank Holiday. I received my invitation from the Guardia Civil to attend the service at the church (which is at 11.0am) followed by wine at the G.C. station on that date but unfortunately I have a prior commitment.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Post Office, Boxes and Promar Houses (Water)

Firstly the Post Office is moving AGAIN! I spent some time with Jose today from the Correos and he told me that they were moving the Post Office again. I asked why it happens so often and basically he explained that historically the Post Office in small villages was a room in the Postmans home. As the post person for Zurgena is not resident in the village (she is from Taberno) therefore it is necessary for the post person to rent a room for this purpose. After negotiations with the Town Hall (due to the rent on the existing place going up) they are moving to the old Town Hall up the hill near the doctors surgery in the village.

The manufacture of the post boxes for Los Llanos, Los Menchones and the additional box for Cuesta de los Pinos is progressing and should be completed the week after next. We have agreed locations for the casetas which hopefully will satisfy people. I will be communicating exact address details once the casetas are ready.

I also attended a meeting, which Sampo (councillor for Galasa) had organised, to explain the situation regarding the Promar houses in Los Llanos. I expressed my gratitude to Sampo for taking this task on and hoped he could get a resolution to the problem.
He is basically at the early stage of organising an application to Galasa on behalf of all those who do not have mains water supply. He was suggesting applying for Certificates of Antiquity and then submitting a composite application to Galasa (together with much copies of documentation eg NIE Contracts etc) on behalf of all those wishing to go down this road.
Personally I think Sampos action is the most likely way to obtain mains water in the near future. I asked him if he wished me to collate details of anyone not here and able to register their desire to support this action and he said he would talk to me about it next week. However, in order that no one is missed out, if this affects you please let me know and I will forward your details to Sampo.

Still not seen or heard from Candido.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I know many of you will identify with what I am about to relate but I am at that, "getting very fed up stage again" and I need to vent my thoughts before I explode.
I have spent the past few weeks waiting and hoping to sit down with various members of the council primarily, Candido, but have failed dismally. I do spend many days waiting, more in hope than expectation, of being able to get things answered but today topped many of them.
I had (I thought) arranged to see Candido either yesterday or today (after a few weeks of failed efforts) and sent him a text to confirm (no reply).
I also had an appointment with Jose Aran from the Correos regarding the 3 new casetas we are organising and I also emailed and texted him to confirm that appointment for 2.0pm.
Guess what! I went into Zurgena Town Hall at 11.0am no sign of Candido - no answer to phone.
Went home waiting for my 2.0pm appointment with Jose. No show and no reason sent or given.
So I have left a snotty letter for Candido and a similar email to Jose. Don't suppose it will make any difference but at least I feel better!
Somehow the Spanish 'manana' continues to frustrate the hell out of me and I wonder if it is worth it.
I will try again later this week to sort some of the issues (where I can find someone of responsibility  to deal with) but I am at Torrevieja tomorrow for an NHW meeting so it will be Thursday or Friday.

Seems Jose has an excuse his Facebook page shows it is his birthday today!

Forgot to add that although Sampo (councillor responsible for Galasa) was also not in the office I left him a file with the names and addresses of all those who contacted me regarding the ongoing discussions with Galasa re properties not connected to the mains yet.