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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.