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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Painting Exhibition


Last Update this year

Called into the Town Hall this morning and got updates on a number of certificates of expediente. I have emailed those whose certificates are ready or nearly ready. It seems the new secretary is more efficient than the previous ones at getting them sorted.

Discovered that the next Pleno which was originally to be tomorrow will not now be held until 28th but I will be unable to make that one.

As I was unable to catch Candido today, and the fact that it is getting close to Xmas, I am doubtful of getting any further with the outstanding matters. Pointless really with the Xmas holidays almost upon us. So I will leave these until the New Year. Besides the matters already mentioned for discussion (in a previous blog) I need to get an explanation of how long it will be before they can start work on the sewerage system for Cuesta de Los pinos which was washed away. I do not see how we can continue to leave this for months more!

So unless anything urgent occurs in the near future I will wish you all a very happy Xmas and a good New Year. Lets hope for even more progress next year with the planning issues given the good result at Court.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Xmas Programme from Zurgena Town Hall

Below copied from the Town Halls Facebook pag. If you need any more information just ask.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mini Crime Wave

It seems we are having a small crime wave in and around La Alfoquia over the past 48 hours. So far there has been 3 burglaries/attempt burglaries at houses near the pool bar, 1 attempt at the Pool Bar where they forced the rejas with great lumps of wood, similar to the burglary at 5.05pm in Los Carasoles. Another in Calle Nervion at Los Carasoles at 10.20pm last night and one earlier in the day at Los Menchones.
The only thing we have so far is the description yesterday, from the witness to the teatime burglary, and that was of 2 youths 12 to 17 years of age, slim build, one wearing a lime green jacket and a baseball cap. Please be alert and keep your eyes open.
Two boys fitting this description were seen hanging around cars and looking suspicious, in the square area of Arboleas yesterday.
This information is circulated by and to members of Neighbourhood Watch. It is only due to the number of offences, and the fact that there is nothing contentious, that I am taking the liberty of circulating it on here. We have good relations now with the Police and try and help where we can.
If you wish to join NHW and receive these pieces of information please contact me or your local coordinator. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spanish Opinion on Court result

Sewing Operation, Careless operation? Basted?

It was early April 2008, do the math: four years and eight months, when the region of Almanzora awoke with a bang informative: the judicial police had occupied the city of Zurgena, the homes of several business and social venues of several companies, which seized thousands of documents and records all with urbanism in what was called Operation Sewing , say named for identification with the Town Planning of the people, surnamed Scissors, Scissors Manuel. After a few months the investigation showed 25 defendants, among them 9 councilors and 11 construction companies. The mayor of the municipality, Candido Trabalon, was, and still is charged with five offenses.

After that huge media operation, the little that is known is that the judge who promoted it is no longer in the judiciary, in politics, and that the prosecutor changed his destiny. The voluminous summary, known by the public in the region thanks to the reproduction of a large part of it by the newspaper News Almanzora , all that was implied that what was cooking there was more shell nuts. The only traces that appeared of a possible illicit enrichment were a primer of a son of one of the defendants, which had entered just under 12,000 euros day after the boy made ​​his First Communion, a car and a councilor It seems that previously had been owned by an entrepreneur and was bought from a sale. Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing, does this Operation Sewing with another operation we have in the province,the Operation Poniente, Also known essentially by leaks of the summary offered by The Voiceof Almeía .

Today it has been known that the Criminal Court No. 4 of Almería has today acquitted former mayor of Candido Zurgena Trabalon and a dozen other defendants in a case of corruption to authorize the construction of five houses on the site of The Cucador. This summary has now been resolved in the first instance and theThe Sewing Operationare different. But they share the merits: if hundreds of homes being built in Zurgena did on rural land or urban land.The BoardAndalusia has always said that this land was rustic, while the City Council has considered urban. Each of the two agencies had ample evidence to lead to the above conclusion in their arguments. Now, in view of this statement, it seems that the reason was more than that of the City ofBoard. Thedivergence of views, in normal conditions, would have led to a lawsuit for judicial. But no, they chose the path most damaging, the criminal, who was the media, but also could cause more pain than the defendants and the district itself.

The Almanzora, that day, lost all the credit that was before a booming Spanish property market facing the region much more than what he asked. Emilio Ruiz.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday 7th December Zurgena Bits

I am indebted to Andreas for helping me this morning. He was looking after the reception desk and there was no one available to cover for him, whilst he helped me withe my questions for Candido and Kiko so he got a bit stressed!

Anyway the points I raised were as follows,

1. My previous request for street plans for each development in the area to assist emergency services etc to locate addresses. I explained that lately another 2 occasions had occurred where addresses could not be easily located and that I have been asking for such plans for over a year. I said that I had not asked for much during my 6 years on the council but this was something I felt was very important and necessary. Candido completely agreed and asked me to remind him after Xmas as at the moment all efforts are going into getting the funding for and engaging the contractors to sort the landslide and continuing the clean up from the storm. I said I certainly would and that I wanted to see these plans installed by next summer at the very latest. Candido said he felt sure they could be done by then. We will see! I have said I will try and get some quotes for the mapping and printing work to help move things along. My thoughts at this moment would be for a plan at the following locations, Cucador entrance to Mena houses, Cuesta de los Pinos opposite bar La Vida, Los Llanos del Peral at entrance to village, Los Menchones side of main road for both 1 and 2, Pool Bar area by entrance to developement, Palaces at entrance to village. Los Carasoles one north side of main road and one south side of main road. If I have forgotten any area please let me know. I really hope I can get this progressed soon.

2. Court Cases. It is not known whether there has been any appeal against the recent case but it does not sound like it, which is good news. The case re Barranco de los Pinos has been adjourned until next July to provide one of the defendants with more information.

3. I asked about some of the tracks such as Calle Odiel/Tajo which are now in more need of levelling. Candido told me that the machinery is working its way around the area again and started in Zurgena and they will get to all temporary tracks to improve the surfaces over the next couple of weeks.

4. I reported the areas where the lights are out and he said he was working his way through them. I told him that all the lights on Calle Abderamman were out and he made a note of that.

5. I asked about the sewerage problem in Calle Farax el Negro, Los Llanos and he and Kiko said they would speak to Paco and Martin  and try and block the drains up so that anyone who has connected their pozo to the street sewerage (which is obviously not connected to anything) will have their own sewerage back up into their pozos rather than flowing out of the street drain and into peoples gardens.

6. We are hoping to get started on sorting the land slip problem but the difficulty is in getting assurances from central government that the funds, to pay anyone for work on this problem, is paid promptly. As soon as we can provide the assurances the contracts will be issued.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Great News for Zurgena

At last the first of the criminal cases against Candido and many others, which was held last month and the decision of which we thought we may have to wait another couple of weeks has rules. They have absolved all the defendants of any wrongdoing.

It is a great day for all the defendants but also for all of us with properties in this area. Over the past 6 years they have had this hanging over their heads like a sword of damocles and finally they have been proved right. I hope the Spanish press carry the news but I somehow think many of them will not do so controlled as they are by PSOE. It is also satisfying for me, as over the past 6 years many people have questioned my position in support of them but they have always protested their innocence and got the right result.

I do not know if there will be an appeal but this, in view of the fact that it sets a precedent is the most important case and will impact on future cases which are being brought on the same basis and the Town Hall will be defending on the same basis. The Judge did make some comments, which I have been asked not to reveal yet, but which gives us an even stronger case to defend any of the outstanding actions. So happy days.

I called into the Town Hall more in hope than expectation to could catch Candido for some of our outstanding issues but surprisingly he was actually there. However, unsurprisingly he we was somewhat under the weather. He said this morning on his way into the TH he was singing and the last time he was that happy was at the birth of his first son! I agreed to meet with him on Friday morning.

Did get an understanding of how the Court of Peace works. This is a local process whereby a locally appointed judge can hear disputes such as neighbour or domestic type disputes and try and help the parties reach an agreement but in the event he is unable to he can elevate the dispute to the higher courts. All that is necessary is for the parties to attend at the TH and ask for a date for a hearing and provide outline details of the dispute and that is enough to start the process.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Just an update to the water situation. The water supply is off across the whole area. Galasa are working on it but at the moment we do not know when it will be reconnected.
The problem is in the Barrio de Chicago area and they are working on it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sore bum - empty tum!

Went into the Town Hall early this morning, 1015am. to do a bit of work and await the Pleno meeting at midday. What a marathon session it was today. The Pleno lasted until 4.15pm! I think it was a record. I appreciate that due to all the circumstances of the past few months that we had a lot to get through.

Kiko was back in the chair and is back as Mayor from last Wednesday.

Amongst the 13, mostly bureaucratic, motions  to be discussed were things such as the naming of the new secretary, the approval of the budget for 2012, the finalisation of outstanding financial issues, inventory of public owned buildings, the agreement for opening administrative activities and the minor modifications of statutes of the Mancommunidad.  We also agreed the dates for the fiestas for 2014 as 16th July and 30th August. Almost every motion was argued against by the opposition which was partly the reason for then lengthy meeting. PSOE proposed a commission to monitor and manage the progress regarding our management of the money which we are to receive from the Junta and pay back over the next few years. This led to a long discussion which concluded with the Secretary agreeing to ascertain whether this is needed. For the first time we voted against PP and PSOE on a motion. I had been warned by Candido about it beforehand. The motion proposed by PP was for all the salaried councillors to forego their Xmas bonus in order that the workers could get their bonus (apparently at Xmas all Town Hall workers receive a bonus of an extra months salary). Candido argued that he would willingly give up his bonus but did not want it made a political football, where it appeared that PP were forcing him to do so, when he was going to willingly give up his. So as a Party although we were given a free vote we voted against it whereas PSOE voted with PP, thereby carrying the motion. We also discussed the actions we have taken regarding the landslide in Zurgena. We have commissioned a geological survey and have submitted requests to various offices to ascertain who would help or carry out the necessary work.

Under other matters PSOE had a long list of questions and points and then Noelia questioned them about entries on their Facebook page which she took issue with as they were, in her opinion, wrong.

So with the meeting ending as late as it did, I ended up missing an entire meal (probably not a bad thing you may say) and having a sore backside. The chairs in Pleno room are bare wood with no cushions!

New Padron List

I was in the Town Hall this morning waiting for a Plenary meeting and was given a the latest list of those who need to confirm they should still be on the Padron. As you know this happens about every month or so where the Junta ask us to confirm a certain, randomly generated, list of names. Those who I have been unable to speka to by telephone are shown below. If you are on the list or know someone who is can you ask them please to call into the Town Hall next time they are passing with their NIE or passport and tell them that I have been in touch and you should still be on the padron. It ensures we get the correct funding.

Margeret Lydia Bonehill,  Andrew Mark Davies, Barbara Davies, Mark Andrew Ellis, Hans Fierens, Helen Martlew, Alexander John Nelson, Jeanne Frances Nelson, Karen Thomas, Jason Paul Weatherby, Julie Palmer, Richard Newton Palmer,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday 23rd November

Called into Zurgena Town Hall today to meet up with Candido for a chat. Firstly I asked how the criminal court case had gone last week regarding the 2 houses at Cucador. He explained that the Town Hall had provided their defence, which will be the same in all cases, and that is that they applied the correct norms, as applied at the time, to all granted licences. The decision of the court will be made in about a month.

He also told me that the case against Anthonio de la Jacinta of New Horizons which Anthonio won last month in the criminal court  has now been appealed by the Junta to the Provincial court.

The case of Cortijo Zurano which is to be heard at the end of this month regarding the 40 houses near Almajalejo, will similarly be defended by a defence that the TH  correctly applied the norms as existed at the time.  

I asked Candido about the situation regarding the electricity limiters (which I mentioned a few months ago) and, after we had talked about it for a while, it became apparent to me that it is probably better if people await any contact from Endesa who are slowly rolling out new intelligent meters.

I was going to give Candido an updated list regarding the street lights not working but he told me that he has a comprehensive list and they are trying to get them all fixed before Xmas. Enrique who is the worker responsible for this work has over 200 lights that need fixing and he is working on it but is also awaiting some new parts.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday 21st November

We had a meeting of the PA and PP councillors last night in Zurgena TH to discuss issues for the agenda for the next Pleno meeting. There was quite a lot to get through and it had not all been completed by the time I had to leave at 7.15pm.

Some points of note from our discussions were as follows.

Sampo explained to me the reason why he is going to be unable to make progress on the issue of getting people connected to Galasa for their water. Apparently the PP Mayor in Somontin and 4 of his councillors have been convicted of malfeasance in public office, by arranging a water supply, without the proper paperwork, and therefore Sampo could not continue with his efforts to arrange the connections in a similar manner. It therefore means that Galasa can only connect to properties which have either got licences of 1st occupation or certificates of antiquity.

As I have mentioned previously the majority of the civil court cases against the Town Hall have now been dealt with and some have reached the highest courts in the land and been decided for the vast majority of them in favour of the Town Hall. The next round of cases are those which are deemed to be criminal cases against various members of the Council, promoters and architects from the dates when the Junta decreed that the Council should not have been granting licences. The first of those was last week (for 3 unoccupied houses in Cucador) and was adjourned. The next is the case of the 40 houses built in Barranco de los Pinos (near Almajalejo) which is scheduled for hearing on 27th/28th/29th/ and 30th of this month. I asked whether, in light of the fact that these cases are now coming to the Courts, we can inform people, whose  properties are referred to in these cases. I am sure everyone is aware that the Town Hall has been paying solicitors to defend all property owners in respect of these cases but I felt that we should make people aware when a case is about to be heard, involving their property, so that they can be aware. The councillors all agreed with me and in future as soon as the Town Hall solicitors are notified of an impending case I have asked that I be informed so that I can put that information on here.

We also discussed the future arrangements about fire protection. At the moment there are two options for us. Option 1 is to join with the rest of the Mancommunidad (councils of the Almanzora valley) of the valley and help fund the new fire station to be built at Olula del Rio. The second option, and the one most of us preferred, was to join the existing Fire cover from Huercal Overa as they have approached us asking if we wish to be covered by their bomberos. This second option has a number of benefits firstly it is nearer to us geographically, secondly it already exists and lastly it would probably be cheaper.

We discussed other issues such as budgets and bureaucratic stuff which we have to complete but as I said I had to leave so missed the end I will catch up either later today or tomorrow and if there was anything of import that I missed I will update on here.

As usual any queries or issues please just email me at the address at the top.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Press Release re Landslide

Below is an article from the press re the landslide.

We have a meeting of the councillors tomorrow evening and I believe a Pleno meeting to follow quite soon.

Landslides on a hill near the village of Zurgena (Almería) has forced the evacuation of three new homes, so totaling 14 people will have to stay out of their homes before the "serious and imminent risk" of collapse by falling lot of dirt and rocks.

   This has been shown to Europa Press the acting mayor of the municipality, Ana Sola, who has stated that, pending the completion of technical reports geological experts performing municipal and county council, residents will be welcomed in other properties provided by the City.

   Sola, who has called the situation "unpredictable" because it is a "natural phenomenon" and has not ruled out further evictions, has indicated that the priority is now to "ensure the safety" of the inhabitants of the houses located in the October 19th street.

   In line with this, and after emphasizing the first acts to establish a security perimeter and area to limit the possibility of further landslides effective by the Civil Protection, has revealed that the Government Sub Almería, Andrés García Lorcha, visit Wednesday the municipality to start designing a plan of action.

   Sola has recognized that the solution to a "problem with the added handicap of not knowing how it will behave the hill" will be "expensive and not easy", so it has demanded the "collaboration" of all administrations.

   There are seven houses affected by landslides that forced in the early hours of Monday evict the first four people, a young couple and a woman and her son, who spent the night at the home of relatives.

   The first earthworks took place at around 01.15 hours. The monitoring device consists of Guardia Civil and Local Police in the area remains the possibility of further landslides that may occur.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I have just been told about a large landslip in Zurgena. I believe it is at the bottom of town passed the supermarket and just as you head out towards Arboleas. I have no further details at the moment but worth bearing in mind if you are thinking of going that way.


Detachment of the "Las Lomas" Hill passing through the Avenue on October 19.
City Hall advises: we are putting the human and material means necessary to safeguard the physical integrity of the neighbors and restore normalcy as soon as possible. However please note that given the emergency situation, you maintain maximum precaution when it comes to circulate through the area. We sympathize with the families who have been evicted and they want to get our commitment to all the means that are at our disposal to soon return to their homes.

It would appear to not have affected the road through.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Details of 2 activities organised by Noelia from the Town Hall

1. Altruistic morning activity

Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 am for early risers and 8:50 am for parents who leave their children in school. In Campsa Park in La Alfoquía of Zurgena.

Start the day relaxed.
More information: 687338671 Maribel

2. Also there is a Ladies Defence Class being held at the Zurgena Gym on the 24th November from 1000 until 1300 by a master trainer. It costs €20 and registration is at the Town Hall before the 21st November.

3. There is also a magic show on at the Theatre in Zurgena which is free on Saturday 17th November at 7.0pm.

The Municipality of Zurgena was recycling contest winner held in Albox for Associations, which consisted of burning a spot on recycling tips. The prize consists of a talk snack for all ages. We wait for November 15th at 17:00 am in the Plenary Hall of the City of Zurgena. Congratulations to the winners!!!

I have still not managed to see Candido and Andreas is not back until next week so may leave it until then unless anything urgent arises.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembrance Day & Renfe

Just a short post to remind people that the Royal British Legion Remembrance day service cannot be held in the church this year (due to the 11th falling on a Sunday and the local services coinciding) and therefore it will be held in the Renfe building at 10.30am tomorrow morning.

Also running at the Renfe weekdays 0900 x 1400 until the 25th November is a photographic exhibition of old Almeria. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday 7th November

Called into the TH yesterday and today but drew a blank. Andreas is on holiday for 2 weeks and I think Candido is at court this week.

I did leave the updated list, of those with the WiFi dropping out problem, the list of roads, which people have asked for additional attention, and the street lights list for Candido's attention and the street lights list.

Will keep trying on other bits.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nearly Normal

Well things seem to be settling down a little bit following the horrendous storm and floods. Whilst there are still many infrastructure issues to be resolved at least the basics are in place. In view of that I need to review the outstanding bits from just before the storm,

1. ICPs A number of you contacted me wishing to be included in any list of houses who wanted to have them fitted by an authorised electrical company. I have since received a copy of a  letter, which a resident from Cuesta de los Pinos, received from Endesa. This letter seems to indicate that they are intending changing all meters to incorporate an ICP. If this is the case then any, and all, of you who do no, as yet, have an ICP fitted but, are receiving your electricity from Endesa, will be getting a new meter which will include the ICP. In view of this I have not yet progressed the request to get one company to do all until I clarify exactly (if I can) what Endesa intend to do and whether it will cover everyone.

2. Regarding the WiFi and the problem with the connection continually dropping and having to be logged back into, I had received 6 responses from people who had this problem. If you have not yet informed me of this being a problem for yourself then please let me know a) username b) name and address and c) how you connect to the Town Hall WiFi with type of aerial. This list will be provided to try and help the TH identify and correct the problem. Sorry not sorted earlier but sure you appreciate why.

We have still not had our budget planning meeting but of course this is now down to Ana. I hope it is not too long in being held.

All your messages of appreciation, for the work of the Town Hall during the recent troubles, has been passed on to those responsible. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


There is to be a demonstration today at 5.0pm at the broken bridge at Carasoles.

This is to show our anger at the closure of the bridge and the difficulties it presents for the bigger vehicles and coaches. It will also send the right message to the Junta about the strength of feeling at the previous lack of consideration of our plight.

It is also to complain about the delay in getting the access to Palaces open.

If you have half an hour to an hour spare please come along. The press will be there at 5.0pm and the television at 6.0pm.


Thanks to the dozen who made it tonight and featured on live Spanish Television. It helped make the crowd bigger for the cameras!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mancomunidad Meeting tonight

Many thanks to the 50 expats who gave up an hour of their time tonight to support the Town Hall at the Mancomunidad meeting. I have to apologise for their being no interpreter but I could see that the majority of those present were up to speed with their understanding of Spanish!

Basically the meeting was opened by the President of the Mancomunidad, which is a representative body of commercial, political and personal bodies from the whole valley. There were reps from the other Town Halls, business and commercial organisations on the top table. The meeting considered 3 motions which they sought to have agreement on. These were all related to issues of the support and lack of support from the Junta during the time since the storm. They covered issues such as the lack of action to minimise loss to businesses and people in the valley, the help we expected, and should get, regarding traffic problems and I lost the last bit!

The meeting approved the following motions.

1st demand the opening of diversion for the heavy traffic as a matter of urgency, within a maximum of 24 hours, considering that is is damaging severely the sector transport of the Valle del Almanzora.

2 Demand the resignation of the Provincial Deleada and the Minister of development, for his incompetence when it comes to give a quick and effective solution to the diversion of the road A-334.

3 Demand the return of the different traffic sanctions brought to drivers during the days that remained open the offset by the Town Hall in Zurgena, and the days after its reopening by the Board, given the serious damages to the sector transport, businesses and entrepreneurs of the region and the rest of drivers in general. In addition we call damages ocasionasionados to that sector, given the increase in costs of long alternate routes posed by the Board in the beginning.

Candido gave a diary outlining the situation as pertained to Zurgena Council during the days and weeks since the storm. He highlighted the lack of response from the Junta, the action by the Junta which forced the closure of the road and the officiousness of the Police in threatening to issue tickets. He explained what we had done as a council and the difficulties we faced and the fact that everything Zurgena had done since 2004 was deemed illegal by the Junta and now it seems even emergency roads are. He also highlighted the fact that we had worked as an all party council where politics did not interfere with getting things done.

Some members of the Mancomunidad spoke of their gratitude to the Town Hall for their actions and of the need for the meeting to express strong solidarity with Zurgena and to press for our (the whole valleys) situation  to be more effectively considered and helped.

It was important that the meeting showed togetherness from all the represented bodies, including our neighbours, so that the message we send the Junta is truly representative. I, and the Town Hall, were therefore grateful to all who attended and filled the hall to help show our support for the motions which were all carried unanimously. Those of you who attended will be featured in the Spanish press in the next few days.

Thanks again.

The Town Hall Facebook page is summarised above.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Los Carasoles & Tonights Meeting

We are pleased to be able to announce that our diversion through the rambla at the broken bridge at Los Carasoles is now reopen.

I have been asked  to let you all know that the meeting tonight (the Town Hall at 5.0pm) is to increase the pressure on the Junta to deal with our roads and infrastructure problems more efficiently. The meeting will be attended by the Mayors of all the Town Halls on the valley, representatives of businesses and they have asked that the more who support it the better to show our strength of feeling. So whilst you may not speak spanish your mere presence will help to send the right message to the Junta to attend, more thoughtfully and efficiently to our problems.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Latest from the TH below, seems we may now not need our meeting I will post when known for sure. At this moment they still want people to attend to demonstrate their feelings for way this road closure has been conducted.

I went down myself this morning to see the mayhem and discovered that the machines and deliveries that are taking place are to create a situation where the temporary road can be reopened. Maybe sense has prevailed!

Neighbors! Seems to be that we have succeeded! This morning are the machines works public working to open access. Perhaps by Monday we will enjoy again of our offset. Congratulations to all those who have done so possible with your comments. Thanks to all the neighbors who have opined. We have listened and it will do the right thing, reopen access that is in perfect condition for the transit and not to endanger the safety of our neighbors making through roads much more dangerous. We return to give thanks because together we are going to get!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monday Meeting

The below posted by the Town Hall. My understanding is that we are looking for people to attend to show the strength of feeling about this roadway. It is to be held at 5.0pm.

"We inform you that on Monday, October 15, will be held at the Plenary Hall of the City of Zurgena, a Special Meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Almanzora to discuss the bridge of the Rambla del Peral and reopening the detour City Council made to communicate with the A7 A334. Also attending the Almanzora Business Association and will be open to all those neighbors you please attend.
We count on your support!!"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our Wonderful Junta & Update

Below is the latest information from the Town Hall regarding our temporary route past the broken bridge.

We will now have to close the route at 4.30pm today. Will post any further developements.

Due to the ineffectiveness of the Junta de Andalucía in giving an effective solution to cutting of highway A-334 on the way through the Carasoles neighborhood in the municipality Zurgena, the City Council was forced to open access provisional by the rambla to the municipality and the rest of the region, given the emergency situation in which the population after the torrential rains of the past was September 28.
After repeated discussions with the delegation of public works which was in knowledge to this new provisional access created by the City Council and, after days without a delegation instrument in any way of management in this regard to give an effective solution to the road cut, the Town Hall in Zurgena is forced to close provisional access once the development delegation to speak in the sense that this access is fully ILLEGAL and the liability for any incident would by the Town Council.
From the Town Hall in Zurgena, we challenge the Junta de Andalucía so under his tutelage, responsibility and maintenance, reopen the diversion, which is in perfect condition for vehicular traffic.

I have put forward a suggestion that they put up a sign saying that drivers use this illegal road at their own risk but I fear this will not be accepted.

The best and safest route now will be to take he road up to Los Llanos Del Peral following the temporary signs to Almajalejo and across the rambla into Almajalejo and onto the road close to the motorway by Huercal Overa.

Monday, October 8, 2012

In case you missed it

Pleno meeting approved our letter to the various authorities to be treated as part of the emergency area.

Below is a lift from the Town Halls Facebook page. You will see that this includes everyone not just those with house insurance, for whom the Consorcio is the correct line for compensation.

FLOODS affected during the floods of September 28, 2012 was launched a service to victims for the purpose of giving information of various subsidies and actions carried out: according to information received, the aid that PROVENGAN of the Government CENTRAL and QUE VAN A be TRAMITADAS by the Town Hall of ZURGENA are compatible with the from of the Consortium for insurance.
For the victims with insurance in force:-will have to go to the consortium of insurance.
It is very important not to pull the affected goods and widely documented losses until the expertise by the Consortium.
-In addition, must report to the City Council in Zurgena depending on model standard drawn up to the effect that is available in the Town Hall.
For all the victims of the floods:-must report to the City Council in Zurgena according to standard drawn up to the effect that is available in the Town Hall.

Once approved by the Central Government order regulating the aid available to those affected by the floods in Zurgena 2012 opens a Municipal technical office where they will be logged and processed all requests for those affected by the disaster.

Update 8th October

We had a meeting this morning just to go over what we need to cover at the Pleno meeting tonight. The primary purpose of this meeting is to apply to the relevant authorities for us to be included in the emergency area and so qualify for various state funding to repair our infrastructure. The damage to the public infrastructure in our little municipality amounts to an estimated €11.3 million. That is only public infrastructure and does not cover private properties which obviously is still being assessed. We feel quite certain that we will be included in the declared emergency area and so will be able to start putting things right fairly soon, but this will also depend on a number of factors including what we are able legally to do with regard to contracts being issued ahead of us getting the funds.

A full list of the infrastructure needed to be repaired/replaced includes all the damage to the streets, water treatment plants etc and I am led to believe that these will be prioritised.

Regarding the road from Palaces to the motorway again the Junta have been conspicuous by their absence and so the Town Hall will take on the job of trying to get a better route through. They will be starting on that tomorrow.

I will stop sending emails out through the NHW scheme as from today, as I only used that due to the urgency of the communications, and, as things have settled down a bit now, the urgency of communication has lessened.

In addition to information being posted on here the Town Hall has a Facebook page (for those who use Facebook) under City Zurgena and questions or issues can either be directed through me and this medium or through Facebook to 'noeliayanabel'.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Monday Emergency Meeting

I have been informed of an emergency meeting of the Council on Monday evening. In advance of that the Town Hall FB site states

THE CITY COUNCIL ON MONDAY WILL MAKE AN EXTRAORDINARY TO APPLY FOR THE GRANTS NEED THAT WE TELL YOUR DAMAGE.TOMORROW is assess all damages, payments, voqueras cequias branches pedrizas all afternoon is very important. On Monday we declare area catastrophic to Zurgena and only have municipal damage you are on time tell us each inheritance damage even at the eye above.

Basically we need to know of any and all damage caused by the exceptional storm. So please if you have damage and have not yet reported it please call in on Monday with your details and photographic evidence to assist the Town Hall gain classification under the emergency cover.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Water Palaces

Galasa are still trying to find the problem for the water in Palaces and in view of that the Town Hall has arranged for the water lorry to go there this morning about 11.30am.
Please tell all your neighbours.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Consorcio & Update

For those of you who wish to make a claim to the Consorcio under the Spanish rules of compensation for people with insurance this link will take you to a printable copy of the form.

Thanks to Peter Sharpe for creating the link.

Once I know where I can find the form for uninsured I will post but they do have a comprehensive website under consorcio this site explains how and what they do.

The office where claims need to go and contact made is
Consorcio de Compensacion de Seguros,
Av Aurora 55, Planta 1,
29006, Malaga
Tel No 952061391
Fax 952061392

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


The bypass to the collapsed bridge is now open after very committed work by Candido and the others in the Town Hall. This road is the responsibility of the Junta but, knowing that they would take some time, we took it upon ourselves to create this track.
Traffic can flow both ways.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Los Carasoles

Latest from Town Hall re the bridge at Carasoles (not the bride as one reader pointed out to me in a thee previous blog(

"PUENTE DE LOS CARASOLES, road of the JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA to - 334, QUE UNE BAZA (GRANADA) (A-92N) with HUERCAL - OVERA (A-7)" from 15: 30 hours of today, the City Council in Zurgena has begun to make a provisional detour with machines, to be able to communicate with the Carasoles Zurgena. Currently the machines continue to work, when the work is complete you will be informed.

and this morning

Good morning! Currently work is continuing on the diversion of the Carasoles, shortly, we will be able to use this access.

Tuesday Update

Firstly from the Town Hall no matter whether you are insured or not if you have suffered damage then they are asking that you present yourself at the Town Hall with your full details, insurance details if covered, details of damage with photos and as detailled as possible. It would also help if you have your Spanish bank details.

They are asking that you do that because, as of this moment, our area has not yet been included in the disaster area and the TH want to get that status so as many people as possible can be compensated. So please if you have suffered damage call in with your details and evidence.

If you are not here at the moment you can get a neighbour or keyholder to do this and Andreas witll give out the necessary forms.

Secondly the Junta has done nothing regarding the bridge at Cucador. However the Diputacion have been working on the Palaces to Ballabona road which has 3 areas of breakage. They hope to have the route open although it may involve going slightly off the road in parts.


Town Hall in Zurgena advises: the offset provisional access from Zurgena Palaces or Lubrin, by the cemetery, will remain cut morning from 08: 00 until 12: 00 hours, on the occasion of repairs to the pipes for the supply of water to the homes.
Sorry for the inconvenience. (Translated by Bing)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Water and E15

Update from Galasa received today at 10:50am :

Zurgena and Arboleas will recuperate the regular water supply during the day of today. However it might be a bit "brown" at first due the land and dirt that got into main line during the breakage.
Fingers crossed.

The E15 is now open past Puerta Lumbreras as they are using the other carriageway after structural engineers confirmed it was okay.

Following representations (due to people getting lost) we got some more signs on the road between Cucador and Huercal Overa and it is a lot better.

The Town Hall is asking for people to post any pictures of the aftermath of the storm on their Facebook page. If you do not like using Facebook you can forward them to me and I will post on there.

Claims Update

Sorry for all the confusion. I called into the Town Hall to clarify matters and the following is what I have been told.

If you are insured (house insurance) any claim for loss or damage may well be dealt with, not by your insurers, but by a body called the Consorcio de Compensacion de seguros del Ministerio de Economia. Any claim under this has to be notified by telephone or over the internet at with an electronic signature. Most people will not have this electronic signature and therefore the phone will be the way to claim. So my advice is initially to claim from your insurance company in the normal manner then, when and if, the area is declared a natural disaster area the claim will be dealt with by Consorcio.  You will need a photocopy of your insurance policy, a copy of the receipt from the bank for paying your insurance, your NIE, a certificate from the bank of the existence of this account and a detailled lost of all items lost or damaged with photographic and documentary evidence. If possible retaining possession of it. You do NOT need to go into the Town Hall for this.

If you are not insured then that is when you need to go to the Town Hall. It will end up being the same body who deals with it but it goes a different route. However they (the Town Hall) will collate the claims but they also want as much as the Consorcio. So take in all of the above that you have and they will record it. All paperwork should also be in Spanish.

Sorry for the confusion it has been a difficult weekend. I have passed on the messages of thanks for the work so far done by Town Hall to those responsible.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Town Hall

I received a call from Marisol to say that Antonio (New Horizons) suggested everyone, who is affected by the current problems, attend at the Town Hall tomorrow (Monday) to register their problems.
I was unsure that this was sensible so I asked the other councillors  but the response I got was yes people should should go in and register their problems whether it is just water or any  other issues.
I have confirmed this with Candido and others. I suspect that it is in order for the Town Hall to apply to central government to be considered part of the natural disaster and be covered by the Consorcio financially.

So basically and I am unsure, even what we are supposed to do, but the consensus is that if you have any problems, please attend at the Town Hall tomorrow (Monday) and register your issues.

This may be connected to the potential for the Consorcio to take responsibility for compensation so I would recommend that people do attend and register their issues. So if you have any damage or loss due to the storm I recommend you call in. I think they will only need names addresses NIE number and details of your issues. If the Consorcio does take over they will require prove of any claim so advise you take photographs or retain the item if possible.

Please also let anyone know who is not on the web.

From Town Halls posting

The Council advises: on the occasion of experienced torrential rains last Friday, all staff town hall is available to residents, in order to resolve any doubt with regard to the damage caused and the collection of all possible information. We ask all neighbours, attached the maximum data to their claims (photographs, drawings of situation etc...). Contact phone: City Council: 950449006. From the City Hall, we will make every effort to respond to each and every one of the claims of all the inhabitants of the municipality of Zurgena. 

Water Delivery Programme

Below is the programme of daily water supply until we can get the supply back from Galasa.

0800 Petrol Station La Alfoquia
0810 La Canada Herrero
0830 Casa Nuevas/Camino Real
0900 School Alfoquia
0930 Chicago
1000 Bar Glorieta Alfoquia
1000 Pool Bar
1030 By Bakama bar Alfoquia
1100 Cucador
1100 Bar La Vida
1130 Cajamar Pueblo
1130 Los Llanos del Peral
1215 La Glorieta Pueblo
1230 Plaza Iglezia Pueblo
1315 Bar La Union
1315 Casa Nueva Pueblo
1400 Los Menchones
1400 El Palaces.

For the info of Los Carasoles we are trying to arrange delivery from Huercal Overa.

Water Sunday & Update Sunday 1800

As previously stated the water wagon will be at La Vida and Cucador today at 11.0am. It will also be at  Barrioo Chicago and in the pueblo at Zurgena at 1015am.
  The TH staff have been working to try and open a route from Palaces to behind the cemetery. The last I knew they hoped to finich that last night.

It is hoped that a water supply service will continue for as long as it needed. Details will be circulated by the TH on flyers, Facebook and I will post on here and circulate through NHW coordinators as and when we know the timetables.

Regarding the roads there has been a few developments today. Firstly the Junta have opened a route from Cucador to Huercal Overa through Los Llanos just follow the signs. This will help as currently the only way to access the motorway is through Albox and Taberno. I am also informed that there is work being carried out in Palaces to possibly create a route to Ballabona. As and when I hear this to be open I will circulate.

Finally indebted to Mike Mallen for the below information.

There is a very useful Official Web Site It's Spain's version of the UK's Highways Department/Dpt of Transport.  To access local information:
From the Home page: On the left-hand side select "Información de Carreteras" - 4th box down
Select the first option "Estado de la Carreteras"
Top left side of page has a map of Spain - just below this select top drop down box (Initially marked Todas las CC AA) and select "Andalucia"
This brings up all details of problem areas in our Andalucia in alphabetical order by Province; so, Almeria problems come up first.
To check other regions, return to 3. above and select "Region de Murcia"
Finally; just to round off - DON'T MAKE JOURNEYS UNLESS NECESSARY

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Water Tomorrow

Apologies about the mix up today about the locations and times. I gave you what I had been given but apparently the lorry driver did not agree.

The plan for tomorrow is for the water lorry to be at La Vida AND Cucador at 11.0am and at the main square in Zurgena at 1015am. You can attend either location for free drinking water.

Water Problems.

I have been asked to inform as many as possible that due to the difficulties that Galasa are facing they anticipate that we will have no water for 5 days.

In view of this situation the Town Hall has arranged for water lorries to visit all areas but so far all I am aware of are is in La Alfoquia, the lorry should be there at about 6.0pm and will be at La Vida at 9.0pm. If you can take any containers you wish to fill then do so.


I arrived home after being out, working on some insurance jobs, to discover (at 8.30pm) that they had changed the plan and the water lorry is to be at Cucador at 9.0pm tomorrow night and not at La Vida tonight. Sorry for any inconvenience. Usual story.

Emergency Update

The council workers are working flat out to try and ensure people have access to main roads. There is still a problem on the main road to the motorway. The workers are trying to clear a route for Palaces residents from the cemetery.
There are still problems on the A7.
Re the water Galasa are working on repairing the main pipe which fractured and has caused Arboleas and Zurgena residents to be without water. As I understand it they hope to complete the main repair by late today but then will have to ensure no further fractures in the villages hamlets.
bear in mind that if you wish to claim compensation from Insurance companies or the Consorcio (who pick up the tab in maters of national emergency) then you will need to be able to evidence it so please take pictures or make what records you can.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Firstly I would like to comment on the amazing way everyone rallied round today to help each other after the storm. Many of us have suffered damage on varying scales but so far I have not heard of any injuries.
For your information the motorway between Lorca and Puerta Lumbreras has collapsed and will be partially closed for some time.
I was asked to attend an emergency meeting of all councillors this evening but I could not get there due to the road blockages. I did inform them of all the problems that I knew of so they had that info.
The feedback I got from the meeting was that as many people as can help would be deployed to help. The Diputacion have supplied men and materials and local builders are helping out.
In relation to the water problem this is a big one. It is a main pumping station that has been affected and the supply to Zurgena and Arboleas is seriously affected. Galasa are working on the problem and hope to have the water back on by late tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Limiter Picture & WiFi drop outs

The Town hall are having problems identifying what is causing the problem with the WiFi where people have to continually log in and then, after a short while, log in again. In order to assist them can you, if you are having this problem, let me know your username, location and whether your aerial is internal or external or what type it is. This information it is hoped will help them identify the source of the problem.

This is a more helpful article regarding identifying whether you have a limiter or not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Electricity Bills/Rubbish Bills/Language Lessons

Firstly I was made aware some months ago that the electricity supply companies (like all Spanish companies) are trying to ensure they maximise their revenues and to this end they have started to bil people who they suspect of not having an electricity supply limiter. Basically in Spain you have a contract for the supply of certain maximum supply (mine is 5.5) and to ensure that you do not draw more than that from the supply chain you should have a limiter fitted in the house. This is a switch which you will find usually in a box at the side of your fuse box in the house. This additional switch should be housed in a  box which is sealed (a small wire through a corner of the front of the box to ensure it is not tampered with. A number of people have discovered fines on their electric bills lately a and have also discovered that they do not have a sealed limiter. I discussed this with Candido this morning and he said that the only way to ensure compliance with the supply companies requirements is to have an AUTHORISED company install this limiter and certify its installation to the supply company. He said that if there was sufficient numbers he would help arrange this. I asked if it would be an expensive process and he confirmed it would not be and at a guess suggested about 30 euros. He used to be an electrician so he does know what he is talking about. Remember if you dont comply then any and all charges for this fall on the property where they remain. If you find that you need a limiter fitting and you want to go on the list I am compiling then let me know as soon as you can.

Secondly but on the same vein Consorcio levante are (as previously mentioned) trying to ensure they get all the revenue they can and I was today given a list of undelivered bills from Noelia on behalf of them. So if you are on this list or know of the person concerned please contact me asap.
Paul J Mickleborough, Edward Robert Alan, Debra J Dales, Sonney J Thorne, John Stuart Martin, Marm R Yates, Richard M Howes, Simon J Pennells, Anthony J Christian, Jason P Cuthbert, Julia Fitzpatrick, Timothy E Drake, Neil A Barker, Rosemary A Sanders, David J Connor. Again if these bills remain unpaid the debt stays on the property.

Lastly my colleague Andy Mortimer who runs a very busy english language school for Spanish students and he has an intensive course during this week and next. If any of you are going to be in Almeria city at any stage during the next 2 weeks (up to Friday 5th October) and fancy a cup of coffee or just a bit of a chat see below for details and let me know if you can make it at any stage.

I have an intensive course going on this week and next and need to give the students as much practice with native English speakers  as possible. The idea is to invite you for coffee and a chat at any time between 15:30 and 20:30, between now and Friday next week. There are only six students so it will be a pretty relaxed situation (for you). The venue is: Hotel Costasol, Paseo de Almeria, 58. It's next to "Hacienda". Hoping you or any of your acquaintances can make it.

Zurgena NHW AGM

A reminder that the Annual General Meeting of the Zurgena District Neighbourhood Watch scheme is to be held this Thursday at 6.30pm at Latinos Bar in La Alfoquia.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Secretary No Secretary

Was in the Town Hall this morning and discovered that the gentleman we had met who it was hoped would be doing the secretary's role on a part time basis is no longer going to do it. It transpires that we have found someone else who wants the position and has the necessary qualifications and he is ue to start on 1st October but it will be  a few weeks before he is able to perform his role as there a number of time consuming factors to be be taken care of before he can fully perform his role.

I did discover something that I had not known previously today. This is in relation to obtaining information etc from the Town Hall. If someone wants some information certifying from a TH then that has to be signed by the Mayor and the Secretary. If however it is just some information that does not need certifying then the Mayor can sign it. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Basura Bills and Post re IBI

Just a couple of things to mention. Firstly over the past two weeks members of staff from Consorcio Levante (the rubbish collecting authority) going round the area in a white car r(reg no ending GKG). They are bona fide and are trying to ensure that all properties are paying their share of the basura bils. I have been made aware of more than one household where they hav ended up with a bill running into many hundreds of euros.

Secondly following discussions with the Correos regarding the IBI bills they have agreed that, any letters from the Diputacion which are undelivered, and sent to the Post Office in Zurgena to await the 15 days grace, before being returned, will be notified to me and it will give me an opportunity to try and let the person know. Remember that the first communication will be a notice NOT the actual bill. I was also informed that only a small percentage had actually been received by the Correos so far so maybe nowhere near as many as we thought are going to receive their IBI bills this year..

Lastly the latest list from the padron of the randomly selected residents who need to pop into the Town Hall with their NIEs or passports to confirm they should still be on the padron are as follows.
David Arthur Barker, Paul John Dowler, Mary Gwyneth Dowler, Roger Alban Fisher, Colin James Mason, Elaine Mason, Madison Bethany Roy, Jene Elizabeth Williams, Colin Grundy, Heather Donna Morrison, Steven Douglas Newberry, Michael John Steadman.
As usual if you know of any of these residents please ask them to call into the Town Hall. Thanks

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

IBI Update & Exhibition

As you may have guessed things are still moving slowly regarding the issue of IBI bills from the Diputacion.

Just so that you understand the process as it stands, the Town Hall has submitted files on every house in the municipality to the Diputacion to facilitate their calculation of these bills. The Diputacion examine the files and either agree or disagree with the content of the files. Either way they send out a l;etter stating what there position is and the recipient responds. This letter is the first stage in receiving IBI bills. Once that letter has been received then the IBI bill will follow but given that we are supposed to have a month to consider any assessment I suspect most of us are not going to be billed until next year. I had been told that it was hoped 50-60% would be billed this September but from my knowledge less than 20% have had the initial letter so far.

From the Town Halls Facebook page

We inform you that this Saturday, September 15, will open the exhibition "Almería growing for Europe". It will take place at Renfe's Hall from 10: 00 in the morning. This will remain open from 15 to September 23 in the morning. Attached below is the information and we invite you to visit it, to know the relevance of our membership of the European Union.

New Secretary

Following a two hour meeting last night we are now to engage a new, legally correct, Town Hall Secretary named Nikola. We are going to share him with his current post at Olula Del Rio and he will work 2 days a week at our Town Hall.

The Town Hall have done some more cleaning up by Calle Violeta this week and I have again asked Candido to see of we can apply pressure to get the basement area of the block near to the Pool Bar tidied up and if possible properly fenced or walled off so that people and animals cannot use it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Secretary

Iw as called to a meeting this evening to discuss the situation we faced regarding the Town Halls secretary. Those of you who have followed the blog will know what problems we have had over the years with this position. We have been told that although Isa does a great job standins in for the legal position of secretary she cannot perform this role as it needs to be a particularly qualified and independent person. As Ana is back in harness she had been making enquiries and found that the person who is secretary at Olula del Rio is willing to work 2 days a week for us for €1000 a month. We discussed this issue and agreed that as it is a lefgal requirement we had better comply. We are to hold another meeting tomorrow afternoon to meet this person and agree a contract.

Secondly Ana told us that the architect in the Junta is still saying that our PGOU cannot advance in its current state but we need to look at exactly what he is saying and have a full meeting once his position is made more clear.

We also agreed to look at setting up our regular weekly meetings again now that all the councillors are back in harness.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Something Different but worrying

I was today informed by my neighbour that his palm trees were infested with the red palm weevil. this pest is almost always fatal for Palm trees particularly the large phoenix palms. The one John showed me was a good size and had the grubs in the base of the leaves.

I am circulating this to let people know to watch out for this pest as there is no really complete cure for palms infected with this bug and many of us have spent good money and time on our palms.

The following 2 links are helpful in understanding the problem.

I will inform the Town Hall in the morning and see if there is anything they can help with but given that
the Spanish government lifted the restriction on the import of palms from Egypt where most infected trees emanate from, I suspect there is little they will do, but I think they need to know.

Additional info from Keith Willis

Two treatments I have found

1. Insecticidal Sistemico 20 made by Sipcam Jardin sl
Treat every six months by mixing in watering can and douse the centre of the plant.
One 50ml bottle treats two palms once. About 6 euros available from Ramblizos at Antas.

2. SOSPALM a device that has to be drilled into trunk of palm, sealed and then injected with chemicals, once a year is re-usable. Seem to be a better method. Have not found any yet. 
Made by Provefe, S.A.  Found on

Have tried method 1 two weeks ago and no other leaves have caved in yet!

Additional 2

This from  another expat who has experience of the problem.
Re your friend,any horticultural outlet will supply him with the right chemical and instruction on how to treat the problem....The chemical i use is...Dacropid...1.5 mil. per litre of water.Each tree should be sprayed every two months ..for life......the Red  weevil if caught early on they will survive

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday 4th September

Popped into the Town Hall and left the updated list of street lights requiring attention for Enrique (town hall worker) and a copy for Candido.

Discovered that Ana had returned today so don't know what is going to happen re the Mayors post as it looked like Candido was going to be doing it for some time. I think they will be having discussions about this.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday 30th August 2012 & Zurgena Fiesta Programme

Managed to get hold of Candido in the bar this lunchtime. I have to say that I thought he looked very tired and drawn. I suspect that the difficulties of trying to manage the council with a fractured coalition is proving difficult and very tiring. I certainly would not like to try and do his job.

Following the issues raised by some of you I put numerous questions to him and the first thing to mention is that many of these issues will be addressed at a meeting of the PA councillors in September, when we will discuss the spending plan for the next financial year. The issues which I have already tabled and I will pursue in that meeting are as follows,
1. The manufacture and placing of area street name plans in each area to assist the emergency services in finding peoples homes.
2. The employment of a contracted company to maintain the Wifi system in good working order.
3. The installation of extra street lighting in areas where we need them and this would include but not restricted to Cuesta de los Pinos.
4. The tarmac surfacing of Avenida Poetas, Los Llanos and improvements to other roads in that area.
These are some of the plans I will be pursuing at that meeting which according to Candido will be held soon.

Regarding the many areas where people have complained about the street lights not working, or having problems with, I agreed to provide a list of these to Enrique (Town Hall worker) next week (after the Zurgena fiesta) for his attention. This will include  Calle Nervion, Avenida Europa, Calle Chipre area (Cuesta de los Pinos west side) Calle Juan Ramon Jiminez. If I have forgotten any please let me know.

On behalf of a few people I asked what the difficulties would be in opening a restaurant or similar business in the municipality. Basically he said that if taking on an existing business this should be quite straight forward but anew premises would require a new licence and due to the restriction on granting licences he doubted whether this could be achieved.

Someone had asked me for an email address for the Town Hall where people could get a direct response and I was reminded of the  address which if people contacted in Spanish should get a response although the secretary is very busy at the moment.

I asked if we had progressed any regarding the areas where electricity or water were being supplied by the landowner or builder and was tol this situation was hopefully going to be resolved with the issue of the IBI bills (a subject I have covered frequently before). I did say that only a few people in new houses had so far got their IBI bills this year but he said he expected that they all would be sorted by net year but 50% shoudl be done this year. He did say that the Diputacion were communicating much better with us nowadays, than before, so he was optimistic.

I asked if we could have the road sweeper visit the area of Los Llanos as it had never been there and he said we need to ask Paco to arrange that next week. So I will.

I asked why the Polizia Local could not issue parking tickets to cars parked in Calle Diego Velazquez when we now have a sign saying no parking. It transpires that the sign (which Candido thought was the correct one) is not the legally correct sign and we need to change it. He will visit next week and try and ascertain if we can get one. I will remind him!

I had been asked by a resident if the case against the Sunlit houses had been withdrawn and he said he did not know of that and that things get said which are just rumours.

The new hotel in Zurgena is not Town Hall owned by privately owned and should open soon.

On behalf of some of the residents I asked if the PP's promise to approach the Junta regarding the solid white line outside New Horizons could be changed to a broken white line. He told me that no approach had been made to his knowledge. I will keep it on my list and ask again if we can see if there is anything we can do.

Finally the programme for the Zurgena Fiesta which starts today was published at noon today! The following is a breakdown of the timings.

Thursday 30th August
1700 Kids football tournament municipl court.
1900 Parade of bicycles and infant gamnes in Gines Parra park (by the rambla in Zurgena)
2000 Veterans Football tournament
2030 & 2200 semi finals Paddle Tennis
0030 Election of the Fiesta queen and maids of honour (juvenile and infants).

Friday 31st August
1300 Half day fair in Casa Paquita (opposite the theatre)
1900 Mass and parade in honour of the patron saint San Ramon Nonnato
2330 Music from the Azahara orchestra.

Saturday 1st September
1300 Half day fair Casa Paquita.
1800 Basketball championship at the municipal sports hall.
1900 Infants games Plaza del Olmo
2100 Paddle tennis final.
2330 Music to the Azahara orchestra.

Sunday 2nd September
1030 Petanque tournament (Gines Parra park)
1300 Half day fair Casa Paquita.
1600 Final of sixes and dominoes.
1700 Darts tournament Casa Paquita.
1830 Bubble fiesta in the sports ground.
2330 Music to the band Tivoli
0030 Presentation of the trophies.
0200 Fireworks to close the fiesta.

Those of you who asked me questions I will try and email directly but hopefully most have been answered on this blog posting.

August in Spain!!

During this week I have been tying to speak with Candido about your growing list of issues and it has been difficult, having my grandkids here. Yesterday I delayed taking them to the coast in the hope of meeting with him but that failed. I was then told that he would be in this morning. I have been waiting in all morning and just (at 1.0pm) discovered he was in the Town Hall but he was in conversation with an opposition politician but if I dropped by Pacitos bar at 2.0pm I may be able to put my questions.
So I will try again then!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


PSOE are holding a demonstration against the Town Hall tomorrow in Zurgena. I understand that the purpose is to highlight the lack of action in certain areas of the pueblo. It would have helped greatly had the (PSOE controlled Junta) not raised the legal actions that they did, and thereby cause the majority of the TH's focus and funds, to be concentrated on defending these actions.

Most of the Town Hall staff are still on holiday so I will have to wait until next week to discuss the outstanding issues. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holiday Over

I got back from our usual summer break in the UK yesterday and have 3 days before family arrive for holidays.

I will try and get into the Town Hall in the next couple of days to try and catch up on some of the outstanding things.

Update Sorry not enough people in the Town Hall until next week so not much point going in today (Friday) will do early next week.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last Post for Summer

As we all know nothing happens here during August so this will be the last post until September unless I hear of anything urgent.

I reported the problem with the lights on the west side of Cuesta de los Pinos and Candido has asked the public works guys to attend to it.

Regarding the new sign on the lamp post in Palaces it is a no parking sign not a no waiting sign. FYI.

Regarding the problem with the WiFi we had a long talk about this as it is becoming quite a problem. The engineer who has worked on the system is working his way through possible causes. It is a difficult one to locate as it could be anywhere in the system. Candido promised that they would keep trying to find a way to fix it but was considering paying a maintenance contract to a company to carry out this and any other maintenance or problem solving but he was unsure whether this was something he can do as Mayor or whether we need a Pleno to agree it. It would most likely mean increasing the charges but I said that I thought people would not object to paying a euro or tow more to prevent such a nuisance of a problem. He asked me to inform all readers that he is as frustrated as them as he suffers from the same problem but will continue to try and get to the bottom of it.

I asked what the position was about my budget for the 3rd Age and we then had a discussion about the situation regarding the Mayors position. As you probably are all aware by now Candido is back performing the role as Kiko is still signed off sick due to his accident. Ana is likewise signed off and it is suspected that it may be some weeks and months before either can be back fully to work so in that event Candido will carry on. I asked what would happen about some of our ideas for the next financial year as we had not agreed what to do with the financial grants. Candido said that we needed to get together with the other councillors after the holidays (in September) and agree what we wanted to achieve. This of course includes the planes referred to before about streets etc.

Regarding the Dizu vehicles which were travelling through the area of the pool bar Candido went last Wednesday but there was no one there. Since then he has been in meetings and unable to visit. He is going again tomorrow but he is sure it was work on cabling that they were doing. He rang Enrique at the Pool bar who confirmed that looked like what it was but he will ry and speak to the workmen then and if he finds out anymore will let me know.

Lastly obviously the programme for the Zurgena fiesta is not yet done (the La Alfoquia one was printed half way through the 1st day!) but just to remind you that the dates will be over the weekend of the 30th/31st/1st/2nd August September.

The Town Hall  will remain open during August but there will only be Juanjo downstairs and Maribel upstairs for most of the month.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday 27th July

Nothing much to report today.

Candido did visit the area at the back of the pool bar to see if he could find a way to reduce the traffic but I have been unable to speak to him since. He was in a meeting in Olula del Rio  yesterday and Seville to day. Will try and catch him early next week.

I did ascertain that he knows about the nuisance problem some are having with the WiFi dropping the connection and having to be logged into each time. So hopefully he will be able to get that sorted too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Few Updates

Managed to get a few minutes with Kiko and Candido this morning.

1. I raised the issue regarding the construction vehicles accessing the area behind the pool bar and causing disturbance and potential danger. Candido did not know what they were doing. He said they were doing cabling work a few weeks ago but he was unsure what they wee doing now. I told him that I had received half a dozen complaints regarding these heavy lorries going through the developement and could they not access the site through Barrio de Chicago. He promised to look into it this afternoon. I will chase it up tomorrow.

2. I had received a call from a resident of Llanos del Peral regarding a court case No 637/20078 which the caller stated had been lost by the Town Hall and they were worried about the outcome. I asked Candido and he told me that to his knowledge there had been no cases since about 6 weeks ago when in the Penal Court two cases against New Horizons had been won by the Town Hall and the next Court case he knew about was in regard to some houses on Cuesta de los Pinos but that was not due to be held until November. He did say he would make sure that this was the case by ringing the solicitors and quoting this number.

3. I asked if the project for the bowling green was still going to go ahead with our lack of funds. He said that it probably would but due to the outcome of the last election we need to have a meeting of all the ruling councillors, probably in September, to agree what we are to use our €360,000 for the 2012/13 year. I reminded them that this project was probably the most likely to lead to a return on our investment and he agreed, as did Kiko. So I think it will happen just taking a bit longer due to the last election.

4. I again asked about the street signs for Palaces. He immediately rang Paco who agreed to put the no entry signs up tomorrow but he could not find the no parking sign! I asked if he could try and sort that out.

5. Enriques' application for the road closure for the mini fiesta by the pool bat is being granted.

Does anyone know the identity of the people who used to, until recently, ran the restaurant at Sabor. If you can email me their contact details or ask them to drop me an email.

Lastly the usual list of people who need to confirm to the TH that they should remain on the Padron. I have contacted, all I was able to by telephone, however, the below persons could not be reached

Daniela Cenuse, Emerald Cloda Davis, Michael O'Connor, Mark Anthony Seaborne, Michael Coulson, Marie LOuise DeBock, Denis James & Pauline Ann Dickinson, Julian Charles & Alison Estelle Earl, Wendy Maureen Evans, Malcolm Neil Gilbert, Trevor & Linda Maguire, Adam Daniel & Shaun Richard Shaw, Carl Van & Jenny Louise Rock, John Peter Drake, John Stirling & Mary Richardson, Sharon Von Asma, Bernard Robert Carroll, John Vincent and Mary Louise Donnelly, Margaret Diane Faulconer, Ian Meg and Aaron Hamer, Matthew Harris, Jill Morris, Diane Marie Robinson, Angela Seguss, Paul Raymond Tebbs,  Joseph and Alexandra Vincent.

As usual if you know of any of these persons please ask them to pop into the Town Hall when they are next passing and tell Juan Jo that they should still be on the padron. They only need to take NIE or passport. This is the regular check carried out on randomly generated names from the padron to ensure the TH is not getting money for people who are no longer on the padron.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Great Music Weekend

Well that was an interesting and quite enjoyable weekend, if a bit long!

Each night Friday Saturday and Sunday I was on parade for about 6.30pm and made sure there was something for Ann and Dave to do. This was usually to parade in front of the marching bands prior to the concert. Whilst they were doing that I went with Kiko and Candido to await the arrival of the bands and welcome them outside the Renfe. The bands then went and had a sandwich and drink before commencing their concerts at 9.0pm. The quality of the bands varied but I must say most of them played with amazing ability excellent. So many of them were very young mostly between the ages of 14 and 25 years. It was so heartening to see so many young people involved in supporting their traditional village/town bands. I did see quite a few ex pats in the audience but, as I was sitting on the front row I was not able to see everyone who did attend but I hope they derived some pleasure from the experience. I did get a bit of a shock on Saturday night when at about 11.0pm I heard my name called out by the presenter, but having been there throughout, I knew it was only to present a photo/diploma to the youngest member of the Tijola band.

The whole concert was broadcast live over the internet. My favourite tune was one which, I think, the band from Abla did and it was a Trumpet Boogy. Just like Glenn Miller! Another of the bands did an Abba medley but mostly it was traditional Spanish tunes and one the last night some of the favourite Spanish tunes led to dancing and clapping throughout.

During one night I was sitting next to the Delegate for Urbanisation from Almeria and I can assure you that Salvadore gave him a real satirical dousing over our difficulties.

Tried to upload some video footage of our band but failed.

For information the festival continues in Cantoria this coming weekend same times and format.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Oops Sorry

My description of the route for last nights band marches was the wrong way round. It commences outside the Bakama bar and finished at the Renfe! There were refreshments available at a few stalls. The same format will be followed Tonight Saturday and Sunday. Marching from 7.30pm and concerts from 9.0pm. Amazingly both times were adhered to last night.

The event was very good with about 300 spectators. The quality of the music was very good and besides it being broadcast live over the internet it was presented by a young and very professional presenter. The bands last night were from Huercal de Almeria, Macael, Berja, Nijar, Viator and Taberno. Each band played about 3 pieces lasting a total of 15 minutes per  band.

The two expats who volunteered to assist see photograph below processed in front of 2 of the marching bands and did a great job. Thanks Dave Belsey and Anne Cottis Karlstrom.

From Mike Foulkes,

The Post Lady in Zurgena Post Office informed me recently that she had an inspection
visit from her boss from Huercal Overa.

He was insistent that she explained to all customer that....

ALL OUTGOING MAIL should have a RETURN ADDRESS on the back 

to ensure it can be correctly returned if it does not reach the 

It would be helpful if you can ensure this is done.

On behalf of the Lady at the Correos

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Big Band Nights

I have only just been made to realise what a big event this weekends assembled bands concerts are for our area. It is probably going to be the only time in our lifetime when this happens in our town.

As I previously published the bands will assemble near to the Renfe and starting at 7.30pm one band at a time will process from there along the road towards the petrol station turning right to go down the main road and then turn right into the road towards Latinos. They will then have refreshments in the square and the concerts will start in that square and be displayed on a large screen so that all can see. I believe that the event, in part, will be televised but I do not know.

The bands come from Macael, Taberno, El Ejido, Velez Rubio Pulpi and Carboneras, to name just a few. There will be 6 bands each evening Friday Saturday and Sunday following the same route and timescale. I think it will be well worth calling to see.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

La Alfoquia Fiesta & Ana

Below is the agenda for the fiesta this weekend sorry for late publication but it is hot off the press!!

Today (Thursday) kids events.
Friday 13th July

Midnight Fireworks to start the fiesta.
1100 x 1400 Music for the young  people between 12 and 17 years
1800 The corrida for kids where they have to skewer strups of fabric dangling from a wire
1900 Games for young kids
2030 x 2330 Semi finals padel tennis
2330 First concert by the orchestra.
0000 Dancing by fitness group.
0030 Election of the Fiesta Queen and maids of honour.

Saturday 14th

1100 x 1300 Games for kids in the renfe
1730 Painting exhibition in the Renfe.
1800 x 2100 Football matches at Sports school
2100 x 2300 Semi finals of football 7s.
2100 Service in the church Virgen del Carmen.
2130 Final padel tennis.
2330 Orchestra

Sunday 15th July

1030 Petanque tournament in front of La Campsa.
1800 Foam party.
2130 Horse Spectacular in the temporary ring in front of the Renfe. (Please note this is an event put on  by a private company NOT the Town Hall but the TH has allowed it by providing an ambulance) Admission s €10 for adults and €7 for kids
2330 Popular music.

Monday 16th July

1000 Free churros for the 3rd Age in the recinto ferial (near Renfe)
1100 Childrens games in the Renfe
2030 Celebratory Service and procession accompanied by guitarists of the patron saint Senora del Carmen.
2330 Popular music
0000 Presentation of trophies
0130 End of fiesta.

Also very good news Ana is now home and out of hospital.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Civil Protection 1st Job

We had the first meeting of the newly formed Civil Protection unit for Zurgena tonight.

There were only 2 out of the 3 (expat) volunteers and 5 of the Spanish volunteers present but it was enough for Celia to be able to go ahead with planning for the first event, which is a parade of bands from all over Andalucia and is in La Alfoquia over the weekend of the 20th, 21st and 22nd July. Our role is primarily the protection of the musical bands before and during their march through the village.

The bands will be assembling at 6.30pm and marching through town at 7.30pm with the concerts at 9.0pm. There will be drinks and sandwiches at the concert.

If anyone considered volunteering for the Civil Protection but missed the earlier chance it is still not too late. If you get your names and details to me in the next week we can get it sorted. It is a great opportunity to integrate.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Good News and E Access

Firstly we can now reveal, although I think many of those affected are now aware, that the case I referred to a couple of weeks ago was one against Anthonio of New Horizons and related to the houses he had built, in part of Los Carasoles. This case has been won and not appealed. Another one down!

Went to the Town Hall for a meeting about Civil Protection at 11.0am this morning. Sat until 12 noon no sign of the meeting starting so went home!!

Discovered from Salvadore that the Catastral records are now accessible online. Although I am still struggling to work out how to access individual records you may want to have a fiddle about, until I can get more clear instructions on how to access it in depth, without an electronic signature. The site is at and if you access through the top left box which shows free access you can then drill down to street level. It would appear that the first 230 houses to be registered for the IBI will be in the area of the Pool bar at La Alfoquia.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pleno Friday 29th June

Got back from delivering some friends to Alicante airport in time for todays Pleno. It was chaired by Candido, due to Ana now being off sick. So, as he is 3rd in the pecking order, he is now mayor (again). Hope no one else goes off sick!

The following were some of the issues discussed,

We agreed to pass a bye law to regulate the uses , installations, and occupations of public places. This is something we have not properly regulated before. After discussions we agreed to pass this regulation and we then went on to approve the taxes to be paid for such things. This was set at €23 per annum per square metre or €2.75 per sq metre per month. (this is for the occupation of places such as footpaths and parks by private companies for heir use eg bars putting out tables and chairs etc.)

The next item on the agenda was an amendment to our financial rules governing the charging of Plus Valia. We agreed to give a discount of 90% to circumstances such as inherited or gifted properties where it can be clearly shown that the transfer of the property is not to be for financial benefit.

We then discussed and agreed a consorcio for the Medio Almanzora and promptly ruled to dissolve it. I need to clarify more fully what this Consorcio was for!

Then we had a miracle! Candido explained that the Provincial Plan for the improvement of many of the roads in the municipality 2010/11 had never been minuted by the secretary we had at that time, (personal opinion he was a waste of space) and so we had to agree to the fact that we had previously agreed to this plan. The miracle being that PSOE voted with us and I think that is the first time I have known that. So it is hoped that when we present this paperwork we should be able to get the contracts issued around September with the work (hopefully) done before the end of the year. This is the Zurgena plan (mentioned a number of times in previous blogs about the money for the roads such as Avenida Poetas and many others)

We then agreed various other bureaucratic measures and moved onto questions, of which the opposition had many. One brought out something I was not aware of and that was the reason why the Tanatorio had not yet opened. The reason for this was that the company who had built it had gone bankrupt before completing the work, they had agreed to do, which included the electrics for the place. Now we are in a tricky situation of how to find the additional monies for this work.

A second point was that Salvadore informed the Pleno that another 230 homes should be receiving IBI bills in the near future. I will try and see if Salva can let me know which areas this applies to and post on here if and when I know.

The Pleno finished at 3.05pm