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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Court Case last Tuesday

The case last Tuesday was adjourned until  date to be set as someone did not turn up. You would think they would do like in the UK and issue an arrest warrant for someone who didn't turn up and just have the court wait.

Will try again today and tomorrow to see the other councillors.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday 25th January

I can confirm that this case (the one at court tomorrow from Operation Costurero) only involves one expat family and they are aware of the case.

Sorry I have obviously given the wrong impression about the case referred to in the last paragraph below. This is one which, as I understand it, emanates from Operation Costurero, and covers random properties across the area and most of them are reforms. They do not to my knowledge impact on any new builds and I will confirm this with them next week.

Called into the TH yesterday and today to try and speak with Candido but yesterday he was out and today everyone was very busy so decided not to bother him. Will try again next week.

Luis was also not there as he has taken a day off so could not check on the progress of my maps. having said that the english company I have asked for a quote for for the housings has not given me a quote yet! Tardiness all round!

One thing that has come to my notice is more letters from the Guardia Civil regarding Mena houses in Cucador. The expat owners of some of these houses have been sent letters in english to their UK addresses informing them of a case to be heard in Huercal Overa Courts. The letters source is Seprona office in Chirivel (which surprisingly covers Zurgena). I have printed off and given a copy to Candido for his response which I think will be the same as previously and that is that the authorities are trying to get the owners of houses to initiate action against the TH now that their Civil actions have been lost but I am not sure so will wait to see what the solicitors say.

Whilst I was in the TH I was shown some paperwork which we are to present to the courts relative to properties built in Los llanos and Palaces and other areas. These are areas which the Junta are trying to say in court were not legitimately designated as Urban or Urbanisable land. The papers which the TH had produced were for various projects going back to 2003 in which the Junta referred to the areas as being Urban!! Don't see how they can show it as such on their paperwork authorising works and then decry it as not being when the TH does the same. So we are producing many copies f such documents to take to the courts for a hearing next week. More power to our elbow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Electricity Outages & Med Cooking Course

If any of you are as annoyed as me at the frequency of electricity cuts lately and if you are supplied by Iberdrola  they have a telephone number for people to report such issues and I am advised that if as many as possible report their concerns we may see an improvement! The number is 902 22 45 22.

And for those cooks amongst you how about this. If interested contact Ruben as shown at bottom.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Councillors Meeting 16th January

We had a, hastily convened, meeting of the ruling councillors last night at 5.0pm. For a change I was a little late having been out to lunch it was 5.10pm when I got there but the meeting had not started!

I ended up with a very sore head. I had no interpreter and therefore was reliant on the others talking slowly and I was grateful to Kiko and Ana for doing so and being patient with me. There were only 4 councillors present. Kiko (PP Mayor), Ana (PP), Noelia (PA) and myself (PA). Kiko had called the meeting and we did have a lot to go through. Amongst the things we discussed were the application for funds to the Dept of Agriculture and Environment following the flood, the various projects we are considering for the future, the potential to outsource management of the WiFi and the various TH functions such as maintenance contracts, a possibility of installing CCTV in the park areas, a new card system for market stall holders, hours of the Police, issues regarding the schools, and finally the secretary joined us to clarify the conditions etc we need to include in the contract for the next company to run the gymnasium. So all in all an interesting but very tiring time for my old brain.

We did also briefly discuss the progress of the PGOU and the fact that there are, as far as we can see, a possible 2 more reports the Junta can ask for before giving us a response to our application. As soon as any further news or response is received I will immediately post on here. Hope springs eternal!

We talked about other issues of more mundane topics and the meeting ended at 7.40pm. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday 16th January

Called in this morning to meet with Luis to discuss how to get maps, which the printers could use, to make up proper street plans of each area. We looked at a number of options and ended up with Luis having to do a whole load of alterations to our existing records to get them in a format which the printers could use. Luis kindly offered to do that work over the next week, maybe less, so that we could take the resulting maps to the printers and see how they can produce what we want. I am also awaiting quotes for the manufacture of cases in which to house these plans for the 7 previously identified areas.

Whilst there I asked about electricity for tomorrow. According to a friend there are signs in Arboleas tied to lamposts saying there will be no electricity in Arboleas or Zurgena tomorrow from 8.0am until 3.0pm. I asked all who were in the Town Hall and no one has heard anything about this. So I strongly suspect it is a mistranslation or some such.

I also asked again about charitable donations as I have now had a few people ask how or to whom they can donate items for charity. I was told that we need to speak with the lady from Social Services and I will try and sort that in the next week.

A bit of good news for the T.H. and that was that the 2nd quotation of the volume of soil to be removed from the landslip in Zurgena was totally incorrect an the original estimate was much more accurate. Thank goodness as that makes it much more affordable.

Applications for the contract to run the gym on La Alfoquia are being considered this week so hopefully it will reopen before too long.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another Padron List

Forpot to mention in last post but I have another list of names of people who need to call into the Town Hall and confirm they should still be on the padron (if that is the case). As you know I get one of these randomly generated lists about every 2 months and it is merely the Junta ensuring that the TH only gets finacing based on the numbers validly on the padron. Which is why they check. I managed to get hold of many by phone or email but could not contact the following,

Joseph Baron,David Bonehill, Christine Cairns, Edward Cairns, Kenneth George Evans, Johannes Hehemann, David Henry Richards.

If you know of any of these people please let them know.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday 11th January

Arranged to discuss issues with Candido in Zurgena Town Hall this morning but when I got there thought I was going to fail. Candido was out trying to fix the WiFi problem in the Cuesta de los Pinos area we had previously reported and then I heard that he was on top of the landslide hill in the village and that there was a problem. I subsequently discovered that the problem was not a minor one.  The original estimate given to the Town Hall, and upon which the estimate for the remedial work was based was way out. The original calculation of the volume of earth to be cleared was 35,000 sq metres but now that the builders (New Horizons and one other company) who are doing the work (and who will not get paid for 6 months for it) questioned this figure and a new calculation reveals the true amount to be nearly 3 times the original at 90,000 sq metres. This is presenting the TH with a major problem of funding.

However, I did get the opportunity to quickly speak with Candido about some of my outstanding issues.

Firstly I asked him about 3 areas where residents had complained about the access roads still being very bad since the flood. These areas were in Palaces, Los Carasoles and Llanos del Peral. He informed me that the man who works the earth levelling machine had been on holiday and was not returning until 14th January. When he returned he would be working his way from Llanos to Los Carasoles and then to Palaces and the Los Menchones and he noted the areas that had complained.

I asked about whether the TH could do anything about the very bad smell in Calle Miguel de Cervantes which it was believed was a s a result of the flood washing away part of the sewerage tanks in Palaces. He said he was unsure of whether it was a problem that the TH could deal with but would look into it.

I asked about the gym in La Alfoquia and he told me that it was hoped yo put this out to contract next week and soon thereafter to reopen it.

I then raised my pet project, the siting of area street plans but, as I did so he was informed that his solicitor had arrived at a local bar and was awaiting him. I quickly reinforced my feelings that this was a  very important safety matter and needed to be progressed. I told him that I had initiated requests for quotes for the cabinets in which to house these plans but had failed regarding getting quotes from a printer who could do this work. He informed me that the Town Hall has a contract with a company based in Huercal Overa who he believes could do this work and asked that I arrange a date and time for him and I to go and see what they said in the next week or two. So I will pursue this as quickly as I can.

We then adjourned to the bar for Candido to meet with his solicitor and were accompanied by Anthonio from New Horizons and Kiko (the Mayor) and Andreas. As usual I obtained more information downing a couple of beers than sitting in the office. Amongst the bits I picked were that a Hydrological Report on the municipality, which had been asked for by the Junta, was almost complete and would be submitted shortly. This was required by the Junta as part of the process of our PGOU. I then said to Kiko, "what are they going to ask for next?" Kiko said he thought that they could only ask for one or two more things before agreeing our PGOU. Lets hope so.

Candido then had a go at Anthonio about the sewerage smell problem in Palaces and it was interesting to watch his style in getting Anthonio to agree o checking out what was causing the problem and whether they could do anything about it.

Kiko then asked my opinion about pig farms. This was interesting as I had heard a rumour last year about the possibility of a pig farm near Llanos del Peral. I assured him that I and all the people who had bought properties in the municipalities would be most upset if new pig farms were granted permission to open near any residential area. Kiko said that was what he thought. I pointed out that there is many hectares of land to the south of the municipality where there are no residential houses and which would be perfectly suitable for pig farms. So it would seem that he agrees with us on the siting of such a farm.

I also discovered that the same man (who hails from Zurgena originally, Juan) is designing and installing the WiFi for Arboleas.

I think that was all I ascertained today but, I have a feeling I am missing some bits, and if they come to mind, I will add.

Add on.
A number of people have contacted me regarding an article in the Euro Weekly newspaper informing people that all dogs need to be registered now in Spain. Andreas was also approached by people asking the same. We know of no ruling or law which this can be based on. Only dangerous dogs need to be registered and there is a list of such dogs at the Town Hall.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to Work

Well that was a nice long holiday. Been back to the UK playing with the grandkids and eating fish and chips besides Turkey!

I will get back in harness this week and call in to Zurgena Town Hall later this week to check on the progress or otherwise of the many outstanding issues and raise the ones which I was asked to keep in abeyance until the New Year (such as area plans etc).

If you have recently asked me to raise a matter with the T.H. I will do so this week.

Happy New year to all.