My email

My email

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.