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Friday, April 26, 2013

A Real Travesty.

Had a lengthy meting with Candido today to discuss the recent court case against himself and others from the previous administration and the sentence handed down. A sentence he and the others involved is adamant has been purely politically motivated. Again.

Candido explained that there have now been 4 criminal cases of which the TH has won 3 but this last one was in front of a new female judge, who has only just been appointed to the area and in fact, we believe, was hearing her first case. She has been brought in from Majorca by the Junta. In this case she found for the prosecution and against the T.H.

She sentenced Candido to 21 months imprisonment suspended and barred him from holding public office for 9 years (as was widely reported in the Spanish press), however, what was not reported was the full findings of the sentence, the anomalies within the sentence and the blatant dismissal of all the defendants points of evidence. She has also ordered the demolition of the houses involved in the case and that is 12 houses on Calle Nervion in Los Carasoles.

Candido has promised to let me have a full copy of the sentence, as there are so many discrepancies within it, that all the 9 different solicitors acting for the various bodies, have agreed to join together to fight what to them seems a purely political judgement. (I will publish more details of the judgement when I have received it). This action by the solicitors is, in itself, quite unusual in Spain, as normally each individual solicitor acts independently.

The reason this has occurred is due to the fact that the evidence, accepted by this judge, was so plainly slanted in the prosecutions view that little, or no, evidence was adduced from the defendants. In the 3 previous criminal cases the courts have considered photographic evidence, sometimes of many dozens of photographs showing the infrastructure etc in place. In this case there was only one photograph submitted which showed Los Carasoles as having nothing in the way of infrastructure. No reference was made by this presiding judge even to the internet which would also have easily shown the courts that infrastructure is in place, even down to the traffic lights etc. The judge accepted as fact that there were no roads, no lighting, no access, no street lights, no electricity and therefore it could never be urbanisable. Also that there was no access to Calle Nervion other than by open countryside. All facts which can so easily be refuted.

This is clearly a dishonest picture of the state of the area. The solicitors acting on behalf of the defendants tried to get the court to admit evidence showing things such as, the fact that the electricity point has been in place for 74 year, that there are streets, lighting, etc but the judge would not accept any of this evidence.

At this stage the Town Halls solicitors and the solicitors acting for the other defendants have submitted an immediate appeal based upon some of the points above. They feel that they have an excellent case to have the judgement overturned.

I have read various articles published on various media expressing views on the sentencing. I would ask that anyone wishing to express an opinion await the publication of the full sentence judgement before commenting. As they will then plainly see what an outright and blatant miscarriage of justice that this ruling creates and how it could impact on other areas.

Before any further action is taken, beyond the submission of the appeal, the solicitors are being asked to   consider what other avenues are open to the Town Hall to elevate the process for justice to be done. I asked the question that if this judge has ruled based on a political motive who is her superior within the judiciary to whom she is accountable. I was advised that there is a central Fiscal based in Madrid and who is a member of the P.P. party and we are discussing how that figure can be involved in examining the process.

I will update the blog as and when any further information is known and certainly when I get the full judgement.

On a minor matter I have a spare post box in the caseta on Avenida Poetas available to any resident of Los Llanos del Peral who wishes to have one. It will be a matter of 1st come. The cost will be a one off €30. It has become available due to the non payment by a previous applicant for a box.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Court Case in Press

Following the article which was carried in some of the Spanish press yesterday I am trying to speak with Candido but unfortunately I will away for a short trip from later today. I did however manage to speak with some from the Town Hall and get their slant on the article.

The information I was able to glean from the Town Hall is that neither they, nor Candido or Manolo, have had any information from the courts and the only information available is that which has been published in the press. You may recall that when this case first went before the courts the technical official, who had been involved in the case, Carlos Domingo, gave information to the courts. It is believed that he also has a large number of court actions outstanding against him in the Albox area and may have been offered some sort of deal in return for certain actions by him. The below translated part of the article indicates such.

   "In the act of judgment, two of the defendants, Carlos Domingo BF and technical director of the work of the 12 houses, admitted the facts and in accordance with the penalty showed interested by the prosecutor while the judge decided to replace the sentence of liberty imposed both for twelve months at the rate of twelve fine euros a day.

    For Carlos Domingo BF considered crimes author planning, trespass, and negotiations and prohibited activities as officials once the license requested, issued, "knowing that would later participate in the conduct of the work ", a report that, despite that he was aware that the land was undeveloped, said that the plot had all the conditions laid down in LOUA."

If it is the case that the court has found the Council guilty an immediate appeal will be lodged based on a number of factors, including the above. So as with all things legal in Spain another long wait for clarification can be expected!

The reported sentence for Candido was one of 21 months imprisonment suspended and barred from holding public office for 9 years. Will seek more details tomorrow, if possible.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday 19th April

Met with Candido this morning for a lengthy chat about outstanding issues.

1. Budget, still at a delicate stage and we need all the councillors to meet with the Secretary to see what we can and cannot do legally regarding the apportionment of the budget to cover various issues which are a source of discussion between PP and PA.

2. WiFi The engineer has agreed to take on the maintenance of the system but has to locate an flaw in the system which is open to hacking before he can take it over. If he cannot locate the flaw we will have to reboot the entire system. I asked for a timescale and Candido said he did not know.

3. Candido has not had time this week due to meetings to obtain further quotes re the street plans. We will hopefully go and get these on Monday after the budget meeting.

4. The piece of land between Cuesta de los Pinos and Los Llanos which has been cleared and services installed is for the cultivation of Aloe Vera plants.

5. The Ballabona to palaces road is the responsibility of the Diputacion but we do know that contracts were tendered for and it is anticipated that work should start on repairing that road soon! The contract was worth over 2 million euros.

6. I had been asked if there was scope for the TH to establish a legal rubbish dump and recycling plant. Candido informed me that we have applied on a number of occasions for this but the Dept Medio Ambiente has refused and in fact the nearest legal rubbish tip is in Huercal Overa!

7. The Court Case which is to be held, after adjournment from March, is in relation to 9 properties in Los Llanos Del Peral which were built by Tisan Sureste. Candido believes the occupants know.

8. I referred to him the state of the weeds and over growth along the road to Los Llanos and the access to it. He said that the workers have their hands full at the moment but he will bear  that area in mind when  allocating work.

9. People had asked me why more IBI bills had been issued for Arboleas than Zurgena. Candido showed me on Goolzoom the areas which the Diputacion have marked as accepted for billing (it is shown in pink on the Catastro map on goolzoom) and it is obvious that they have just not got around to doing some areas.

10. I asked again about the track from Palaces to Solas which we asked to be levelled at least by a tractor ages ago and which had not yet been done. He immediately rang the builder who was going to do it and he has agreed to do it in the next 3 working days.

That was all we had time for today but at least some progress on some issues. I will update further next week when we have, hopefully sorted the budget, one way or another.

As an aside I understand that today Sampo Pentilla has resigned his post as PP councillor for finance. I am not sure who is next in their line yet.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Postal Problems

Hoped to meet with Candido today but he was called away at the last minute to a meeting in Olula del Rio.

Just a for your information and I guess if anyone has experienced similar they could contact me.

My son sent his mother a mothers day cards. Posted UK 8th March 2013. It arrived today 18th April 2013 (5 weeks after posting). On examination of the A4 size jiffy bag it is obvious that it has been torn open and the part of the contents removed. This was a 'tankini.' What was surprising was that the envelope had subsequently been resealed with brown sticky paper and two sample bottles of a skin care product inserted. So a thief  is working somewhere in the postal chain either here in Spain or in the UK.

Just before I report to the Correos has anyone else suffered anything similar?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday 12th April

Managed to get a meeting with Candido today and we covered many things. Most importantly though (because it covers everything) is the agreement for this years budget. Negotiations between PA and our P.P. colleagues are at a very delicate stage and whilst I know the position regarding these I cannot, as you will understand, divulge the detail yet. We are hopeful that agreement can be reached by next week and plans can then move forward regarding the things budgeted for. As soon as we have agreement I will let you know the result.

Regarding the problems with the WiFi Candido has had a couple of meetings with the WiFi engineer and he is to respond next week as to whether he will undertake the repair/maintenance of our system. I and he, hope he accepts and we can get the things sorted once and for all. I showed him the detail of the 3 other companies that have been touting for business around the areas most affected by the loss of signal. So he knows what the situation is.

I reported through Candido to Paco about the broken manhole cover in Jardines del Almanzora. I also asked what had happened to the 'tidy up' work at the back of Calle Sierra de Hornachuelo in La Alfoquia. He told me that it was still ongoing, albeit slowly, and that by June the area works of cleaning and tidying should be complete.

I gave him the quotes I had obtained for the cases in which to erect our street plans for the various areas and he agreed to obtain similar quotes from Spanish companies to see we were getting best value and of course to include in our budget! We will try and do this next week. I had managed to get permission from various land owners to be able to erect these as and when they are made.

I asked when the trees and lights would be sorted on Avenida Europa and he informed me that would undertaken soon.

I informed Candido that following I meeting I attended of NHW in Torrevieja last Wednesday I was aware that areas of the Costas had involved NHW coordinators in part of the emergency planning protocols and that I thought we should do something similar for Zurgena. The main reason for having done this in Torrevieja was for earthquake planning but it could easily be used to cover floods or any major disaster. he agreed and I agreed to obtain a copy of any planning documents from them.

I asked a number of other questions regarding issues raised by various individuals and weher these are of a specific nature I have responded directly by email to those persons.

Finally I asked Manolo (TH Secretary) of he had managed to discover the law regarding the keeping of pigs on private land. He informed me that they can, if they register with the Consejeria de Agricultura in Huercal Overa, and the keeping of them if for private consumption, keep up to 5 pigs. That is the law.

I am keeping pressure up to get things moving as quickly as possible regarding the repair/replacement of the sewerage works at Cuesta de los Pinos but this obviously forms part of the budget negotiations.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bridge between Cucador and Los Llanos

As you may have noticed the road surface is being repaired under the bridge between Cucador and Los Llanos.
This will prepare the road for proper resurfacing with tarmac and should be completed before the end of the week, hopefully.

Still no news re the WiFi for parts of la Alfoquia and Cuesta de los Pinos. Will hopefully get a timescale later this week. Sorry.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday 5th April

Sorry folks failed to see Candido today he was out with the Rally organisers setting up for tomorrows ramble rally. So all matters will have to wait until next week (again).

The rambla will be reverberating to the sound of the racing cars tomorrow from 2.30pm until about 6.0pm so do NOT go walking in the ramlas during this period. It should be a good spectacle with the ramblas so smooth now. If anyone wants more detail just email me.

The first car leaves Zurgena at 15:00 on Saturday following this route Zurgena, Almajalejo. Rio Almanzora, Sierra de Almagro, Castillo de Huercal, Rambla de Guzmaina, Nieva, Las Minas, Puertecico, Taberno, Almajalejo, Los LLanos del Peral, Zurgena. 150 Km. Doing 2 laps.

Best places to view will be Fuente de Almajalejo, Puente del ferrocarril de Almajalejo, Rio Almanzora a la Altura de Overa, Rambla de Guzmaina desde N-340 a Nieva, La Parata...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Almanzora Ramble Rally

The Rambla rally is this coming weekend should be quite spectacular with the newly storm washed ramblas.

The first car leaves Zurgena at 15:00 on Saturday following this route Zurgena, Almajalejo. Rio Almanzora, Sierra de Almagro, Castillo de Huercal, Rambla de Guzmaina, Nieva, Las Minas, Puertecico, Taberno, Almajalejo, Los LLanos del Peral, Zurgena. 150 Km. Doing 2 laps. 

Best places to view will be Fuente de Almajalejo, Puente del ferrocarril de Almajalejo, Rio Almanzora a la Altura de Overa, Rambla de Guzmaina desde N-340 a Nieva, La Parata...