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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday 18th December

First of all I need to explain about the two recent court cases involving Zurgena. There have been two cases which relate to our area.

The first was a case which ruled against the TH and the councillors/developers. The judge in this case before making his ruling decreed that he did not want to see any technical reports as he already had ones from the Economic Police and the Junta. He therefore chose to ignore reports from a technical architect from Malaga (an expert) and our own Architect. Both of these reports obviously set out the case for these areas to be considered part of the urban floor on land which was clearly urban e.g. within the boundaries of the norms as previously established. In this case they found negatively for the Town Hall. This is the case which got the publicity which stated that Candido was going to prison and could not hold Public Office for 13 years. This has obviously been appealed as not having taken consideration of the full facts. The next case probably shows how.

The second case which happened before the first, in fact on the 27th November, and the adjudicating Judge was Marta Inez Sierra LOPEZ. I have recorded her name as she is the first judge to sensibly apply a matter of fact, regarding urban land. This case relates to 3 small areas of Cucador, all of which fall within the boundaries of the old village. Her ruling refers to this fact and finds in favour of the Town Hall.
Judge Lopez basically has said the same as the TH has been saying for the past 8 yrs. These areas of Cucador are in  an urban nucleus because it is inside the norms of the village. Under this position under article 45 of the LOUA and as it has the necessary infrastructure it should be considered urban  This related to 3 areas one of which is the houses to the left of the rambla. The courts acutely ruled in our favour in 2012 but after Junta appeals and this latest re appeal it is now ruled that the urban floor is urban. 
This is a distinctly important ruling for our Town Hall as it sets a precedent which should apply to other cases. The Town Halls solicitors have been in contact with the National Spanish Press and asked them to start showing a more balanced view of reporting these cases and La Voz de Almeria has agreed to run an article about this ruling . So watch this space. (If anyone wishes to have a copy of the court ruling please just let me know. I did try to upload it to the last post but failed).

The PSOE controlled Junta still, unfortunately, maintain that other than the old centre of La Alfoquia all other areas are outside the norms e.g. acceptable urban floor. We can all see the ludicrous nature of that and hopefully now that Judge Lopez has examined this fact and found in our favour more similar rulings should follow.

I again raised the fact that we have not yet installed the street plans for Los Llanos and the pool area in La Alfoquia. Candido informed me that the big town hall lorry was broken but he would get them to use the smaller vehicles and get it installed next week.

We are working on a new rota for tidy ups across the municipality. It seems to me that at the moment we have a few Mayors and all are pulling the TH workers in different directions. So will try and get some sort of order to the rota for attention. It is this problem which has also caused the delay to the illumination of various street lights. I have also supplied the workers with a list of all the lights which you have reported as being in need of new bulbs.

Political posturing has started in earnest now in advance of the local elections next May. I suspect that the next ones are going to be quite interesting given that the main parties seem to have fractured.

Due to holidays etc this will probably (unless contacted with anything urgent) be the last post for 2014 and in view of that I wish you all a very happy Xmas and a great 2015.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Court Case in Favour of Zurgena TH

The below is the official sentence of Penal Court no 4 in Almeria, last month, regarding houses in Cucador. To cut to the meat of the sentence the named defendants were found not guilty of any offence with the Judge, as good as ruling, that the land was urban.
Sorry about this missing article. I will try and sort out and append later. Cannot find an easy way to transfer the whole document but this link should take you to the 5 page court judgement if you are interested. If this still presents problems please let me know.

Spent 3 hours at a Pleno tonight the only point of interest really was the fact that we have agreed a new list of charges for documentation which the Town Hall provides and I will update the blog with the full list when I get it. The main one though would appear to be the Certificate de Antiquidad which may be reduced in cost to €50 but will confirm all prices etc and post.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Carols and Meeting

Firstly just a reminder of the Christmas Carols service in the little chapel at Los Llanos del Peral tomorrow at 6.0pm conducted by the Reverend Pauline Williams. There will be an organist playing and the order of service includes a number of old favourite Carols to get you in the festive spirit. After the service there will be refreshments provided by local ladies and the church. Please give it your support.

I have been asked by the AUAN to help publicise the below meeting. Whilst it has been arranged by th PSOE, the party who have instigated many of the court actions against our properties, maybe our attendance will help them understand the strength of feeling, of our community, in seeing the problem tackled with urgency.

"PUBLIC MEETING: There is a meeting this Friday 19th December at 12.00 noon in Albox Town Hall where the Secretary General of the PSOE in Almeria, Jose Luis Sanchez Teruel, will explain the changes that his party is currently making to the Andalusian planning laws and is proposing to make to the National planning laws as well as to the Criminal Code to try to resolve the problems faced by purchasers in good faith. A translator will be provided. From AUANs perspective we believe that the changes are reasonable and, if put into place in the manner proposed, will help many people, resolving real problems. For this reason, we ask, that as many people as possible to make an effort to give the proposed changes consideration and support by making an effort to attend this meeting if they live in the valley and are affected by this issue."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Election Reminder

Just a reminder that, in order to be able to vote , in next year's (May) elections in Spain you need to be on the Padron AND registered to vote. To ensure this is the case you need to check with the Town Hall. If you voted in the 2011 elections you should still be on the register to vote but if in doubt just call in and ask.

Could be interesting next year with as many as possibly 6 parties standing!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday 12th December

Spent quite a long while with Candido this morning going over various issues.

Bowling Green I need to discuss, with those from the bowling community, a way forward for this and will do so over the next week or two. As far as the contract with Nila for the base work this should be signed off shortly, although there is still a dispute over the quality of the surface finish of the concreted area surrounding the green.

I reported to Candido the long list of streets where light bulbs were needing replaced. He is aware of this and explained that the supplying company had sent the wrong sort of bulbs. He is to chase them up for the correct ones.

He will also chase Paco up for the street plan signs which are still awaiting collection and installation!!

Hi is also going to speak with New Horizon villas regarding the situation with the road at Calle Miguel de Cervantes, Palaces in order to try and get some tidying up done. He is also going to raise the issue for the same for  Carl Von Linneo and the area to the west of the La Vida restaurant.

We have some disappointing news regarding the funding for the repairs to Calle Finlandia and others, for which w thought we had got approval from Madrid to repair. It transpires that there were some discrepancies in the figures they applied and we have had to reapply for the funding which may take until March however, the secretary has agreed that we do not ned to wait until March but can go ahead as soon as we know they have approved the new budget. So hopefully, even with this hiccup, we can get on with it early in the New Year.

We also discussed other things, including those of a Political nature, which I should be able to report on in the future. As you can probably imagine things are beginning to bubble away in advance of the next elections in May 2015 but at this moment in time the picture is looking decidedly complex, however, as it developes, and I am able to report, I will.

Still looking for one more reader for the Carol service next Wednesday evening in Los Llanos and the Vicar would like it to be a man. We have got volunteers for the refreshements and all the other readings.

Other matters, which cannot be published, were discussed as requested, but I will respond to these directly by email rather than post on here

Does anyone know of a Mr and Mrs D. Simpson 16, Los Llanos CP 04660 as I have a Xmas card wrongly placed by the Post Office in my box.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Church Services for the area

The Reverend Pauline Williams has been able to attain the appropriate support to begin a regular, Church of England, service in the new year, at the village Church hall in Los Llanos del Peral, in our municipality

The programme will roll out as follows,

Wednesday 17th December at 6.0pm Carols by Candlelight with an organist and refreshments served after the service. These refreshments are, so far, being organised by a couple of local ladies who I am sure would love any assistance and we are also looking for any volunteers to do a reading during the service. If anyone is interested then please contact me. I am meeting with Reverend Pauline and (hopefully) the press at the church hall tomorrow at 1200 so I can also be contacted there. As usual my contact details are as shown on here mobile 661147554 or email

From Sunday 11th January at 1100 she will start to hold the regular Sunday services in the hall.  After this event there will be a bring and share lunch to celebrate the event and help people socialise in the church hall. The church will try and continue to hold these services for a trial period of 3 months which will be reviewed at easter to see if there is sufficient support to continue.

The invitation to attend the Carol service (and the regular services) is of course open to anyone within travelling distance of the church. For anyone who does not know the location of the church hall the following are the directions,

From the A15/E7 Autovia del Mediterraneo  take exit 547 and head towards Albox on the A334 for about 3 kms and go through the village of Los Carasoles just after passing the turnoff for La Alfoquia, on your left, take the next right signposted Los Cabreras, Los Llanos del Peral. Follow this road up, passing La Vida Restaurant on your left for about 2 kms. As you reach a fork in the road at Los Llanos del Peral take the right fork and the church hall is on your left after 150 metres.

The church is hoping to establish this service in a new setting and serving a whole new part of the expat population so I hope you will show your support.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday 3rd December

Just a few things of interest today.

Firstly following questions from some of you regarding whether the Town Hall are doing a food bank for the poor of the village this Xmas, the answer is yes.  If anyone wishes to donate any foodstuffs, for this cause, please take them into the Town Hall between the 11th and the 17th December for distribution before Xmas.

The problem, with a couple of basuras not being emptied in Los Llanos del Peral, is due to the regular lorry driver being off. They will attend to the missed bins as soon as they can.

The Town Hall has organised another Artesanian Medieval Market this year to be held in the village on the 12th, 13th and 14th December. Hours of the market will be 1800 x 2200 Friday 12th and, in addition to these hours, will also be open 1700 x 2200 in the evening of Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th.

Have again asked the new street plans (for Pool Bar area and Los Llanos) to be collected and installed. They are sitting all ready in the factory and have been for over 2 weeks!

The Town Hall have agreed to the request by the Anglican Chaplaincy to allow regular use of the small village church in Los Llanos for services. I have been speaking with the minister and she, and I think it would be good if we could get a carol service organised before Xmas. This will probably be on Wednesday 17th December but will confirm and publicise as soon as everything is sorted. The The Chaplain, Reverend Pauline, has asked if there is anyone, locally, who may like to provide refreshments for this event and if they would be willing or interested in organising this for the church to contact me. We would also like a couple of volunteers to do the lights and readings. If any of you local persons (or you know of someone) who would be happy to get involved!! Bear in mind that this service is for residents of any locality within easy travelling distance. So the welcome will be extended to persons across the valley and up the coast.

I have also, again, asked Paco to collect the abandoned pile of glass from out in the camino past Los Llanos.

Forgot to ask about the volunteers for the library but will do tomorrow or Friday.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Abysmal Turnout at NHW AGM

Due to accompanying my wife to the hospital I was unable to attend the AGM of the NHW Zurgena tonight. The first time I have missed in 9 years.

I was exceedingly disappointed to hear that the turnout of members reached the total of 11!

That is out of a membership of somewhere in the region of 250. It sometimes make you wonder why the few, who do take the time to keep such organisations going, continue. It is true to say that with most people, no crime equals apathy. I do hope that we are able to keep NHW going in the area but there is a real possibility that more areas will cease to function. Such a shame. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday 27th November

Not doing too well this week as Andreas had taken the last of his holidays for this year during this week.

Firstly I understand that Nila are to recommence work on the next stretch of the motorway from Cucador to Balabona within 2 months. You may have noticed their surveyors working around the area. The route is an almost straight line from the current end of the dual carriageway across the rambla down to Balabona running to the east of Palaces.

Secondly the Neighbourhood Watch in Spain Zurgena branch are to hold their A.G.M. next Monday evening in  the pretty theatre in Zurgena at 6.0pm (the theatre is just up the left hand road off the old square in the village and has comfortable seating for 100 persons. To make it more informative we have arranged for kim Clark (UK Benefits in Spain) and Anthonio Garcia (Town Hall Caritas) to give short talks about benefits, health and social services in Spain.

I have again shown a group from The Anglican church in Almeria around the village church in Los Llanos del Peral and subsequent to that visit, they are keen to progress the possibility of using the church for regular Sunday services (with the hope that if permission is given they could hold a carol service this Xmas, though that may be cutting it fine). I have sent our councillor for culture a request for this permission and will post the outcome. I am hopeful. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

IBI reminder

Just a quick reminder that the date for final payment of IBI bills for this year (2014) is this Thursday 20th November. So if you have had a bill for this financial year for IBI if it not paid by the 20th November it will attract a penalty charge. If you have not received one for previous years or for 2014 then that is fine but if you are unsure, as to whether one may have been issued then let me know so that I can check and let you know in time.

It looks like we may start to have church services in Los Llanos del Peral in the near future. The Reverend Pauline Williams, Priest in Charge of the Anglican Chaplaincy, Costa Almeria & Costa Calida approached me after the RBL service last week with a view to trying to identify premises which would be suitable. Initially I suggested the Renfe but discovered that that building is to frequently used for other functions at weekends. We then considered the little church in Los LLanos and she thinks that would be ideal. The people from th church are to visit again next week and then, as long as I can get permission from the TH they could start services. Will keep you posted.

Lastly still not had any volunteers (preferably ladies) to assist Anthonia with sorting out the english books for the library. If you or anyone you know would like to assist with this please get in touch. The sooner we get it done he sooner we can start to use it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

RBL Remembrance Day, Xmas Fair, Plea for Marquee and List of Council names

Firstly my wife and I, together with Candido and Noelia, attended the annual RBL Remembrance Day service in the Renfe today and there was an impressive turn out. It seems that as each year passes more people attend.

Whilst there I was informed that the RBL are having their annual Xmas market in the Renfe building on Saturday 22nd November at 1100 until 1400. They have lots of stalls booked for the day so it should be a great market. Oh and I am also informed that Santa will be there.

The organisers of the Xmas fair have a plea for a large marquee, as there have more stalls, than there is room to accomodate them, in the Renfe building. So if you or anyone you know has a large Marquee, they could use, please let me know and I will pass the message on.

A friend of mine suggested that it would be useful if I were to list the names of the main people in the Town Hall for reference as he feels that I often use names expecting people to know who I am talking about so here goes.

The Mayor is Luis Garcia Diaz, the deputy mayoress is Noelia Garcia Jimenez and she is also the councillor for culture, sports and the arts. The other councillors are Salvadore issues relating to property and IBI, Ana social issues, Sampo tourism issues and Candido of course Public Works. Within the Town Hall the full time employees are Andreas, our bilingual help desk person, Juanjo primarily responsible for the Padron and associated issues, Isa (the chief clerk) and her assistant is Maribel. Upstairs is the architect Luis Sendra Sanchez (husband of the other Ana, the councillor who has been off having just had their first child). Also upstairs there is the main man of the employed staff Manolo, our town hall secretary. Foreman of the Town Hall workers is Paco. I hope this helps. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday 7th November and RBL Service next Tuesday

Had a good long chatter with Candido this morning re outstanding Public Works issues.

He informed me about the following,

The trees in the area of Jardines de Almanzora 2 will get a strimming next week.

The work to repair Calle Finlandia and others affected by the storm should start in December.

The hold up with the repairs to the street lights has been due to us running out of street light bulbs. These should be back in stock in the next couple of weeks.

The switching on of the new street lights should take place during December/January.

The repairs/cleaning of various streets, already reported, including Calle Carl Von Linneo and the road between Los Llanos and Los Cabreras, should get undertaken in a few weeks. The reason for the delay in doing a lot of this stuff is due to the financial situation, as budgets have not been adhered to, with a consequence being that funds for normal maintenance have been hit!

There are certain streets such as Calle Irlanda and Calle Miguel Hernandez which were surfaced during the works earlier this year which show signs of deterioration due to the sub soil being washed away. This is something that we are hoping to remedy but again was due to a shortage of funds to be able to install pipework, prior to the road surfacing. It was a question of having the surface done or not at that time and the decision was that it would work out cheaper to get them done as part of those works at that time. Regarding Calle Irlanda it is also part of another project to install the pipework to run under this road when other similar works are to be undertaken in December/January.

The bowling green contract with Nila is almost signed off (at long last) and it is hoped that we can then agree a process to hand the green over to a company to complete the infrastructure and run the club. Probably before the end of the year, in the hope that whoever takes it over, can begin opening the green early in the new year.  

We agreed to get the new street plans picked up next week and installed.

Candido explained that the reason that the work to complete the repairs to the dipuradora for Cuesta de los Pinos took over 3 weeks was due to the fact that they discovered that there was a natural water spring underneath the works and they had to install a pipework system to take this water away down the rambla from the works. It is perhaps worthy of mentioning that the new pipework to bring the waste water from Los Llanos del Peral down to this treatment plant should commence in the New Year and this should also alleviate the problem with the standing waste at the bottom of Calle Abderraman 3 and other parts of Los Llanos.

We also had a lengthy discussion about planning for next years local elections due to be held in May. Candido reminded me that we should be looking at involving, anyone from the expat community, who would like to get involved, particularly ladies! So if you, or anyone you know, would consider helping serve their community by getting involved please give it some serious thought. Next years election, as always, will decide the route the Town Hall takes over the next four years. It is my intention to take  a much less involved role, so I really hope some of you will consider serving otherwise we may have no real representation in the next administration. Should you wish to know more or to express an interest please drop me an email or give me a ring

Lastly a reminder to all our community of the Royal British Legions service to be held this year in the Renfe building and is is requested that those attending to please be in their seats by 1030am on Tuesday the 11th November. The Town Hall has obtained, prepared and installed a new memorial marble plinth in the garden opposite the Renfe as a focus for our remembrances.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thursday 6th November

Spent some time at the TH this morning and got a few things sorted.

Firstly the dipuradora work for Cuesta de los Pinos is complete and working correctly. At last!

Secondly the new marble stone for the RBL is waiting cleaning and polishing. Paco said he hoped to get this finished this week. I told him we desperately wanted it done before the 10th!

Regarding the library in Zurgena I poke with Noelia and got the distinct impression that she was snowed under with english books and did not know where to start. The lady who is sorting the library stock out is Anthonia and I asked Noelia whether, if I could get a volunteer from  the expat community to assist her this would help get the library up and running and she confirmed that it would be a great help. So if you fancy giving Anthonia a helping hand to organise and record the english books for th library please let me know and I can put you in touch with Anthonia.

The new street plans for the pool bar area and Los Llanos are ready for collection from the manufacturer so I will chase up next week the collection and installation of these signs.

There has been a thread on Facebook about the wonderful metal sculptures at the roadside between Los Llanos and Limaria in the area of Los Cabreras. In case you were interested we have discovered that the maker of these sculptures is a local man who does them as a hobby and despite our requests he does not have time to take commissions to make others. It is just a part time hobby of his until he retires in 5 years time!

Some people had asked whether the IBI bills will only be available from the TH next year. This is not at the moment the case. Although we are trying to see if we can manage the issue of bills etc ourselves as this would save us a lot of money which we have to pay to the Diputacion for them to manage. If that does happen then  the TH would be the only authority with the details but at the moment that looks unlikely so as it stands bills will be issued from Diputacion as usual next year.

Regarding the Spanish classes being run on behalf of the TH I need to get clarification from someone on the course as to times and costs, as this is set by the teacher. Will update when I know.

I was unable to speak with Candido re Public Works issues but should be able to see him tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fires and Banks

I am advised that people can now burn rubbish in their gardens however, if you live nearer than 400m from a mountain you need a licence. The advice, as always, is you should check with the TH anyway, if you wish to burn stuff. The licence, if you need one, normally lasts 2-3 months. You need to get that from the TH. It is free but usually last for about 2 or 3 months.

I have been informed by some of you that some of the banks do not require your confirmation of identify as referred to in a previous post. This is strange as it was circulated widely as fact and we found it to be the case for our account with Banco Sabadell. Maybe different banks are interpreting it differently! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Court Case and Tragedy

Firstly Candidos court case yesterday has been adjourned until Monday!

Secondly, and very sadly, a local 31 year old man from our village, died in a tragic road accident early yesterday morning on the main just before he cemetery in Overa. He was in a small Seat car which was in an almost head on collision with a BMW X5. The tragedy of the event was that he was one of three children and his siblings both died at a young age from cancer and now his parents have lost their last child and have no grandchildren. Makes you count your blessings!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bank Accounts and Cherrys Quiz

A couple of bits of information which you may already be aware of but I think are worthwhile mentioning.

Firstly due to EU money laundering rules all the Spa wish banks need their customers to confirm their identities. This merely involves taking your passport into your branch so that they can take a copy and confirm your identity from it. I am led to believe that any accounts where this has not been done could be embargoe'd!

Secondly just been speaking to Cherry Hayden and she is in the process of moving her popular quiz from bar La Vida to Glenn Randall's new bar near the pool bar in La Alfoquia. I think it is called Bar Cilio or something similar. It will be held at the same time and day e.g. 2000 hours on Monday evenings.

Another Court Case

Tried to speak with Candido this morning but he was in with the solicitors as there is another court case against him on tomorrow. So unfortunately I will be unable to progress the outstanding issues which fall under his remit e.g. Public Works. Due to other commitments it will be the end of next week before I can sort some of these .

I did pass on some evidence regarding the dumped glass panels near Los Llanos del Peral. This happened a week or two ago and is the second time that strange things have been dumped in the same location. I was able to get some documents from the scene and the Polizia Local are going to make enquiries to see if they can identify any likely suspects. The TH will try and arrange collection of the broken remnants of the glass.

It looks like the work to repair the dipuradora in Cuesta de los Pinos will be completed this week, as there is only a few more things to be done. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Internet Suppliers

The following is information for anyone who is interested and is not using the Town Hall wifi.

For the past many years I have been hosting (to my wife annoyance due to the bird muck!) the aerial for Eurosat Wiz, but, lately I decided to change to another supplier.

In order to minimise any disruption, to the people already supplied by this aerial, I informed the company of my intention to disconnect this aerial over 3 weeks ago. I was informed by Eurosatwiz that I should seek permission from Albox Online, (who were the company I was changing over to anyway) before doing so, which I did. They obviously had no objections and therefore I disconnected the original aerial the night before last.

Part of the reason I decided to change was to get the faster speeds on offer from Albox online who at the moment are supplying 6meg for €25 pm plus iva, but who are installing more equipment to enable them to provide 25meg. I am informed that Eurosatwiz will also be offering similar speeds but I do not know when or how much.

This is not an advertisement for Albox online or Eurosatwiz merely an explanation for those affected by any disruption. I have also been asked by Albox Online to let people know that these are two distinct and separate businesses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PGOU Pleno

Sorry for the delay in the organisation of this Pleno as I know a number of you were waiting to hear of its progress.

We held an ordinary Pleno meeting last night at 6.30pm to primarily address two issues. Firstly the amendment of our budgets to ensure that we stay within our financial constraints and manage to clear all out debts this financial year. In order to do that we had to approve a number of changes which were unanimously agreed.

But even more important, and pleasing, was the motion to approve our provisional PGOU. This plan, which has undergone many scrutinies, alterations, adjustments and improvements and has been considered favourably by the regional authorities, was unanimously approved by ALL the councillors including PSOE and PA. This is yet another good sign for the outcome of this plan. A number of the councillors put forward their thanks to the political parties for seeing the importance for the future of the village in showing a united front in approving this plan. So lets keep our fingers crossed and hope that the Junta follow suit.

Unfortunately the work on the dipuradora for Cuesta de los Pinos is taking much longer than anticipated. It has been discovered that more remedial work needs to be done than at first thought but they will continue until it is working.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Big Padron Checklist, Please CHECK

Sorry about this folks but I need to try and contact all the below named people and for them to pop into the Th to confirm they should still be on the Padron (if in fact that is the case).
I kinda suspect that the Junta are trying to reduce as greatly s possible the numbers of expats eligible to vote in next years local elections and therefore are hoping to knock as many off the Padron as possible! If you know of any of the people on the list please contact them and ask them pop in when they can. There is no real urgency yet! But the sooner the better.

I have already tried to telephone or emil all those I have details for and some of you may have already had a message left on your phones. If so please ignore. So here goes (hopefully alpha order)

Judith & Paul ABEL, Karen Anne BABER, Jeanette Rosemary & Mark Andrew BASTIN, Christa Helga BETHGE, Paul Martin BLACK, Patricia Mary BRAND, Kevin BUCK, Janet & Jeremy BULL, Terence and Helen BURNELL< Nora Agnes BYRNE,   Bernard R J Carroll, Leslie & Mary Davies, Julie Ann CARTER, Rachel Mary & Steven Michael  COATES,  Christopher W COLE, David William COLE, Patricia Ellen COLE, Rosalyn Jean COLE, Dorothy Claudette CONNOR, Simon COOK,  Lee John COXON, Victor Henry DAVEY, Emerald Cloda DAVIS, Kenneth Sydney  & Susan E M. DAWKINS, Julie DODSWORTH, Stephen John DODSWORTH, Jane Lesley DONARSKI, Robert Charles DUGGAN, Susan DUKE, Liam Joseph EVANS, Warren Austin & Michelle Teresa FABES,  Noel Micheal Feely, Michael Ernest & Sarah Jane FERRE, Dorothy FOX, Jamie Steven FRIEND, Angela GLOVER, Ian & Angela Emma GOULD, Brian & Joan Irene GRIPTON, John & Susan Hardie, William Charles & Carolyn Ann HARDY, Graham & Marion A K HAWORTh, Denise Avril HEYWOOD, Peter & Wendy Ann HIGSON, Ricard Anthony HOLMES, Michael Raymond & Beverley Ann HOLT, Thomas & Eva LEWIS, Eileen P HUTCHINSON, Alun Paul & Claire Margaret JENKINS, Chritine Rosina JONES, Michael John & Joy JONES, Bryan Stewart & Carol Ethel KEAR, Elaine KEBBLE, Kirkley James & Margaret Patricia KEEPIN, Jeremy Derek LEE, Jacqueline LEWIS, Rebecca Michelle LILLEY, Ross C K LYDDALL, Patrick Joseph & Patricia McCOY, Derek George and Ann Mackay MARNOCH,Jamie Richard MacPHERSON, Dennis & Christine A MARSHALL, Graham Denton MEDCROFT, David MILLER, Keith Graham & Mary P MOORE, Linda K MOORMAN, Margaret E NEAL, John Alfred NICOLSON, Anna Katalin NIELSEN, Styeven Douglas NEWBERRY, Eileen Joyce NORRIS, Christopher Frank PALMER, Richard Newton & Julie PALMER, Derek & Sarah Marilyn PARTINGTON,  John Leonard & Jacqueline Ann PAXTON, Graham PERRIOR, Aron Christopher PRIEST, Gerald James QUICK, David Henry RICHARDS, John Stirling & Diane Mary RICHARDSON, Doreen RIGBY, Lee RUSSON,Brain David & Margaret Ann SCANLON, Howard Michael & Susan Beatrice SCOTT, John & Kathleen SHARPHOUSE, Callum & Rebecca Louise SHAW, Christopher and Alaine J SINGER,  John & Kathleen SMART, Bernard SMITH, Janet Margaret SMITH, Margaret C & Clifford SMITH, Michael John & Gillian Phyliis STEADMAN, Dennois James STONE Stephen Anthony STRINGER, Daniel SUCH, Lesley Patricia SWAIN, Barbara Jane TAYLOR, Donal Sean & Karen THOMAS, John & Joan TRIMBY, Carole & Joseph Edward TURP, Joseph & Alexandra Sharon VINCENT, Brian C C WAILES, Katrina Victoria WALTON, Barbara WEST, Frederick Allen WHITTLE, Lloyd Llewellyn Pete & Patricia WILLIAMS, Howard & Sally Ann WILSON,Lee & Barbara Betty WOODHOUSE.

Sorry it is such a long list but hopefully there will not be too many more checks between now and next May!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday 10th October

We had a meeting this morning to discuss how the PGOU had been received by the authorities in Almeria before we officially send it for approval. Manolo and Luis had been down to Almeria yesterday and they were pleased to say that the authorities down there gave a nod of approval to our preparations of the plan. So hopefully another good sign. We will be having the official Plenary meting to approve its submission probably next week.

We then had a meeting, at which the administrative staff, Isa and Manolo (the secretary), explained to the councillors the new rules about how we can act financially as a Town Hall given that these changes greatly impact on the way we can assign expenditure for capital or running expenses. Suffice it to say that the rules are very complex and require the admin staff to completely revamp the way the TH operates financially. The only good point from our point of view is that we have been managing the finances within our ability and if we follow the advice of the secretary we should be clear of all debts both capital and loans by the end of the year but we do have to restrain our expenditure for at least that period.

I have been given the latest pardon check list and it is huge. I suspect that the junta want to try and reduce the ex pats vote for the next elections in 2015! I will try and contact all on the list by phone but, as usual, many will be unreachable. I will the either email or list on here for their information.

Remember Monday 13th October is a Bank Holiday throughout Spain.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday 9th October

Sorted out a few things this morning.

Firstly have placed the order for new street plan signs for Los Llanos and La Alfoquia (pool bar area) with Publipart in Albox. These should be ready in a couple of weeks for installation. We are also completing the plan for the same type of sign for Los Carasoles.

The TH workers are continuing with the work to install and complete the woks on the dipuradora at Cuesta de los Pinos.

In relation to a query from a resident I can confirm that the TH does not retain the services of a dog warden. It proved too expensive and was cancelled some years ago.

Still waiting the Mayor 's decision as to when to have our PGOU meeting. Was not able to see Luis today will try again tomorrow.

The secretary has been discussing the issue about the electricity supply for those 5 or 6 properties in Los Llanos with Endesa. It transpires it is a complicated situation but he is ursine another avenue which he hopes may lead to a proper supply being installed. I will chase this up again next week.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday 6th October

Had a quick chat with Candido this morning about issues under the Public Works heading. Luis (mayor) was in Almeria with Manolo (the secretary) so I could not get confirmation of the Pleno for the PGOU or whether the meeting had been held regarding the discussions to be had with Endesa re the elctricity supply in Los Llanos so I will speak to hi about that later in the week.

He informed me that today and during this week he was concentrating on

a) the dipuradora (sewerage plant at Cuesta de los Pinos) and that the electricity supply was now in but that they need to do some more repairs to the 3rd tank before installing the pump. He apologised for the delay as he had hoped to complete it last week but the rains demolished part of the 3rd tank!

b) the light installations at a number of locations around the municipality. They had discovered some problems with a number of these are are working to get them up to standard and connected. He hoped to have these sorted within the next one to two weeks.

c) the were also doing tree pruning.

I raised the following issues,

1. The Bowling Green in La Alfoquia. He informed me that we have still not got the works finally completed by Nila and so we cannot progress anything until that is done and it is handed over to us as being completed to our satisfaction.

2. I informed him of a number of roads within the area which people had reported were suffering from subsidence as a result of the recent rains and that we need to see if there is anything we can do to minimise the possibility of these roads (some very new) of falling apart. He made a list and said he would check to see what we could do.

3. I asked about the gymnasium. He said he had no news yet and how the arrangements were progressing to get someone to take that on.

4. I mentioned the deterioration of the road between Los Llanos and Los Cabreras and he said he would look at that.

5. We discussed the two quotes we had for the new street plan signs for Los Llanos and La Alfoquia North (Pool bar area). We have agreed on the company to contract to provide the signs and we will place the order for them this Thursday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Poco Poco

Well we managed to get a few things done last week. The new parabolic mirror erected Avenida Europa, the missing plate from the street plan replaced, and 3 new stop signs at various junctions erected. Little by little.

Candido did say that he was concentrating the workmen on the electricity for the street lights at the moment although he leo said he hoped to have the ned pump for the dipuradora fitted this week although I suspect that due to the storms the electricity for that has not yet been connected.

I realise that there are a few more road issues as a result and we are trying to get around to them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Red Palm Weevil Update

Just a warning and a bit of information regarding an increasing gardening problem in our area. You may well already have heard about it, but, thought I should mention it on here as it is important that everyone understands the nature of the pest, as I have suffered from an infestation.
We have a few large, and very we'll established, Phoenix Palms which have been in the garden for over 10 years.  About a month ago  I noticed that the outside leaves of one of the palms were dying off much faster than usual and further investigation revealed that part of the base was rotting away and I could hear a loud clicking sound coming from within. I broke off the dead bases of previously cut branches to find over a dozen large grubs about 1 to 2 inches long within the base of the plant (my neighbour subsequently found over 20 in the roots of his dying palm).
I then did my own research on the internet and discovered that this pest was brought to Spain a number of years ago and was in palms brought from Egypt. That the Spanish government had banned such imports but that it was too late and the bug had already spread. The weevil itself is quite large at about an inch and a half and is obviously red! It is particularly active in the summer months and is attracted to the cut branches of this particular palm although it has been known to affect others palm type plants.
Once you notice a palm is infested, I am told, that it is probably too late and therefore almost impossible to eradicate from that palm and only preventative measures can be taken to protect any non affected plants. The infested plants should be dug up and destroyed by fire (for which it is necessary to obtain a licence at this time of year).
Any existing, non affected, plants should be treated and after much research I have been told that the best treatment is by use of a chemical insecticide called Imidacloprid. This is available at the moment from the Armourers shop at the side of Mora Oil petrol station in Arboleas where the temporary road is. They sell it in small bottles for €3.95 and €5.95 under the brand name 'Coiraze'. They also stock it in one litre bottles in the name of 'Pritt' at €25. As I have a few palms and they need to be treated monthly I bought the one litre size. Whilst I was there I bumped into friends from other areas of the valley who had the same problem!
Apologies if you are already aware of this problem but thought, in the interests of all gardeners, it would be better to spread the word by all means. If you have anything else about this bug which you feel should be added to this post please let me know.

UPDATE I have spoken with Sergio who runs the new garden centre in Los Carasoles and he will get some stock in of this product as soon as he can.

Tuesday 23rd September

Called into the Town Hall this morning and although there was only a few politicians in I was able to move a few things forward.

1. The pump for the dipuradora should be fitted towards the end of this week. Weather permitting!

2. I have now got the new street map for Los Llanos and will be going with Candido tomorrow to try and place an order for that one soon. I got the old bill out for the one for Cuesta de los Pinos (Cucador Norte) and it €650. So we may try and get one cheaper.

3. Added to, or rather, ensured that, Paco had the tree pruning in Jardines del Almanzora, La Alfoquia on his list and he has.

4. The Spanish lessons are being held in the room next to the old 3rd Age bar in Zurgena from 4.0pm each day. I understand you have to ring the doorbell to let them know you are there!

5. Have had a couple of complaints from residents about the noise now coming from La Vida, into the early hours from outside of the bar. We will speak with the management about this matter.

A few other things are moving along and we should have our PGOU approval Pleno soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday 18th September

Was in the TH this morning for a meeting and made sure that the missing street signs have been ordered and they have!

Still looking at a Pleno for approval of the final PGOU on the 24th. If any change will post.

The pump for the Cuesta de los Pinos dipuradora due for delivery in the next week!

The TH sponsored Spanish lessons have resumed and are being held in the room above the 3rd Age bar in Zurgena (up the right hand side street off the square) from about 4.0pm each afternoon. If anyone is interested please go along and let them know so that they can ensure they continue.

Nothing much else to report but things getting back to normal a bit more. My visitors leave soon so will be able to progress the outstanding things next week.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Concert 20th September

Dear friends, in the city hall of Zurgena we sell tickets for the concert "Music Night of contrasts." Our friends Peter and Gary organize a concert to raise money for schools and children of our town. 

There is a bar and meal. Tickets are numbered and
 include seat. Unique opportunity to see music stars that normally act in places like Marbella Star Lite! 

Participate and enjoy good music and company with solidarity! The concert will start at 20.00. Tickets 10 € / person. 

Renfe Station Zurgena be filled on Saturday 20 September. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dipuradora and Village House

Just heard that, at long last, that the pumping machine required to repair the Dipuradora in Cuesta de los Pinos should arrive in about 10 to 14 days for fitting!

I have been asked to put on here the fact that the family of Amelia (who died last month) wish to sell her village home in Zurgena. The house is a single storey 3 bedroom house in Zurgena village of about 30 years of age. It has a number of typical Spanish features and has a large roof terrace with great views over the town.  I understand the family will accept offers close to €90,000. If anyone is interested in this property please email me for more details. Apologies for including what is basically an advert but as regular readers will know there are occasions when I feel it suitable to include such things.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday 4th September

Called in to have a talk with Candido today about some of our outstanding issues and made a little progress.

Firstly although we have lost a €50,000 grant we still think we will qualify for sufficient funds to do the major repair works such as the dipuradora for Cuesta de los Pinos (although despite my best efforts this is not going to be completely finished until about mid october, but temporary improvements are promised), the road repairs to Calle Finlandia etc an th other works necessary following the floods of Sept 2012.

The area maps can be prepared for more areas. I have a rough draft for Los Llanos del Peral. All I need to do now is to get a copy of the original bill for the first one we had done, for comparison purposes and get some quotes from more companies. Will try and get on with this in the next week or two.

Political party activities and posturing are already starting in preparation for next years local elections and this does somewhat complicate issues but hopefully will not impinge too much on the work to be one. As a reminder we have scheduled for this month the PGOU Commission meeting on the 10th and the PGOU submission Pleno on the 24th.

The library, it is hoped, should be open in a  few weeks.

The following people are on the latest Padron check list. If you or anyone you know is on it please ask them to pop into the TH to confirm (if that is the case) that they should still be on the padron.
Jeanette and Mark Bastin, Patricia Brand, Helen and Terry Burnell, Bernard Carroll, Leslie and Mary Davies, Julie Dodsworth,Robert Charles Duggan, Liam Joseph Evans, Angela and Ian Gould,Beverley and Michael Holt, Eva and Thomas Lewis, Keith Graham and Mary Moore, Doreen Rigby, Callum and Rebecca Shaw, John and Kathleen Smart, Bernard Smith, Lewis Snelgrove, Brian Charles Wailes, Margaret Catherine Smith,Victor Henry Davey,Brian Stewart Kear.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday 3rd September

Called in to the TH today for a few appointments and a bit of work. I had a little difficulty in that I could not speak with Candido, as I suspect there may be some political issues going on that I am not privvy to, yet!

Spoke with Luis re some of my outstanding points and he agreed that all issues of a non political nature that come under the jurisdiction of Paco and the TH workers I should pass through Andreas to Paco directly. He will be responsible for completing the works and if I have any unresolved issues I should take them up with Luis. I then gave Paco a list of issues which I asked him to attend to as soon as he can. These included improvements to the fork junction in the road up to the pool bar, the fork junction approaching Los Llanos del Peral, the traffic situation outside La Vida and a couple of others. He promised to see what best could be done at each location and implement such measures as soon as he can afford the manpower.

Issues which people had emailed me about and which are not general point I will answer by direct email to the originators eg the wifi, capcha issue, the possible industrial building in La Alfoquia and a couple of others.

Should get back to more normal service soon. I had family out for a few weeks and still have visitors mid September but should be able to make some progress.

Re the Dipuradora, Noelia and Luis said they expected to hear back from the company responsible today or tomorrow. I will chase up again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bad News and Good Tradesman

Firstly I have to inform everyone that Amelia (Crea I think was her surname) passed away last Wednesday and was buried on Thursday. Many of you will remember her from her Spanish language classes and the work she did for the local church. She and her son also assisted me during the first election I was involved in. The community has lost an important member. Unfortunately I do not know the circumstances of her death and if I find anymore out will post. Her son is the one whose link is on the side of this blog and who provides translation and medical type services.

Secondly I thought I should post on here about another local man who has done some work for me and was very good and very reasonable. He does plumbing and general maintenance etc and his name is Anthonio J Fernandez. His telephone number is 647925280 but if you wish to get him to quote for a job or whatever you would be as well going through Mateo on the following number 647732887 this is a friend of Anthonios' who is fluently bi lingual. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Programme for Zurgena Fiesta 2014 & Katest re Sewerage Cuesta de los Pinos

I have attached below the programme for this years Zurgena Fiesta for your information.

I also had an extended discussion with Luiz, Noelia and Manolo (the secretary) regarding the continuing inability of  the the TH to resolve the horrible situation regarding the sewerage treatment plant at Cuesta de los Pinos. I had been promised that it would be completely repaired by the time I returned from my holiday earlier this month but in fact it is worse than ever. I informed Luiz that if we could not give a definitive date for the remedial work then I would prepare a statement for the press as I felt that it was becoming an inexcusable situation for the TH to have still not resolved it.

After going over all the facts again and making phone calls to the company from whom we are awaiting some of the equipment I left it that Noelia would contact me as soon as this company got back to her (as the responsible person was on holiday this week) . I agree to desist from contacting the press until the 3rd/4th September by which date I was assured we would have a completion date that we could be confident of. I will publish that as soon as I receive it and in the absence of that an article for the press.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meeting re Decree re PGOUs

We held a meeting this morning with the technical architect regarding the latest (!) decree from the Junta about the submission of PGOUs. As you know ours is almost ready to submit having complied with various edicts from the Junta. It was in a state where the architect needs to make amendments due to representations from members of the public and then submission for approval (or return).

Our debate which lasted for over an hour and a half revolved around whether, following the latest decree from the Junta, we should amend our plan in accordance with this decree or submit it as is. At the conclusion of the debate we held a vote and I voted in favour of submitting the PGOU as it stands and if they wish to object or ask for alterations at least we have got it into their office. Otherwise we would still be in the situation we were years ago. The vote was split as others felt we should appease the Junta by making some alterations, but the vote in favour of submitting the plan as it is was carried. The timescale now is for the  amendments from public allegations to be incorporated by the 1st September, a a commission for the plan meeting on the 10th September and a Pleno to approve the final PGOU on the 24th September.

Secondly if any of you, who attended the meeting held in the theatre, regarding the issue of small building licences, wish to progress their particular application, after hearing Jose Crespos' presentation please get in touch. He needs to decide whether to undertake the necessary work or not. Basically what he was saying was that if he could get a group of about 10 persons, maybe those who recently applied for a small licence for partition of their property,  if they wish he could start the work and not make any charge initially but if he won the fees would be a total of about €8,500 plus IVA, shared between the parties. So if you are interested please let me know.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday 14th

Popped into the Town Hall today to check a few IBI bills. Remember you only have until the 20th August to pay previous years without a penalty charge.

Hardly anyone in the office today, as is usual for August. Hope to catch up with Candido next week as I understand here may have been a few political issues whilst I was away.

I guess fully normal service will not resume until September!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Holidays Over

Just to let you know I returned from my holidays last night and, although the TH will not be fully operational during August, I will be calling in from time to time to chase things up. If you have an issue which has not yet ben dealt with or you are one of those who was unable to inform me, in time, of your need for information on your IBI bills please drop me an email over the next few days and I will try and get whatever you need.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23rd

Last posting before my holidays. I am off until the 11th August now.

Following your requests, I managed to sort out 33 IBI queries this morning and for those who bills have been raised I have advised them of the amounts for each year, the payment dates and references. However, I cannot be held liable if I have made any mistakes. The emails I have sent are purely informative and for a definitive statement you will need to get a copy of the actual bills which I have placed in my box in the Town Hall and Andreas has access to them. For those lucky few who have not yet had bills raised I have also informed them and advised them to check again in September although it looks like they may well save a years bill!

I was told that the reason why it seems excessive, the year on year increase, this is apparently due to the authorities not having upscaled them in line with inflation for some years prior. This situation I am told will last for another 4 or 5 years and then the amounts will not be increased for a further period of years. Maybe!!

The Dipuradora for Cuesta de los Pinos is almost completely repaired they have managed to repair some of the internal pumps and machinery and they have the necessary new ones. Candido himself has been inside the tanks to examine them. Not a job I fancy! The last repairs will hopefully been completed within the next week or two.

Regarding the discussion about the €400,000 from Central Government re repairs following the floods. We are still in negotiations with the Junta but we do have to show 50% paid by us for each project. Candido is hoping to en sure that 2 of the projects are those for the repairs to Calle Finlandia and Escocia. It is a case of watch this space for news of agreement on this project.

We have had to do more work on the PGOU as the Junta changed the law again!! However, we are not changing the numbers of houses or areas of definition it is small scale alterations that have to be done before we can submit it. It is hoped that all these alterations and the amendments following publication will be incorporated and submitted before the end of September.

I did ask if New Horizons could do a bit more of the tidying up in Calle Miguel de Cervantes and he agreed to ask them.

Candido had a great deal on his mind today and so I did not pursue the few other issues I still have on my list. We are getting into the time when little happens so I don't think much will spoil over the next few weeks.

I will still be checking my emails if there is anything urgent either from yourselves or the TH.

Do not forget the meeting in Zurgena Theatre this Saturday at 11.0am regarding outstanding small building licences or future applications for such licences. This is not regarding your properties original licence but rather thee non granting of subsidiary licences e.g. for pools, walls etc and how to progress any such applications. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Holiday

I have in the region of 15 requests for updates for people regarding their IBI bills from people unable to get to the Town Hall before September. If you are in this position e.g. unable to get your bills or check on their availability before September please let me know.

I am on holiday for nearly 3 weeks after Wednesday and Andreas is off for a week or two from next Monday.

Those whose details I have I will try and get back to you before Thursday.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday 18th July

Hardly anyone in the TH today as there was a bit of a do last night.

Left a refreshed list of the street lights needing attention for Paco AGAIN! 

Also checked out a number of properties on request with Andreas re the IBI. It does seem as if most areas, with the partial exception of Palaces, have been done.

Will try and speak with the other councillors next week either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

IBI Update

I went into the Town Hall today to try and get clarification regarding the many queries I have received about the recent IBI bills and below is a resume of where we are.

1. The Diputacion (who remember are the sole assessing and billing authority) have managed to raise IBI bills for the vast majority of old and new properties within Zurgena municipality for this year. This is a couple of months ahead of schedule as we had originally been told it would be September.

2. For all old properties, where IBI bills have previously been raised, their bills will be for the year 2014 and will have to be paid by the 20th November.

3. For all new properties the bills will be for the years 2010/2011/2012 and 2013 and will have to be paid by the 20th August. There will be a subsequent payment for this year, 2014, due for payment by 20th November.

4. The notifications of these bills has been, or are being sent, by certificated delivery from the Diputacion. The Correos will attempt to deliver them to the correct properties but they will probably only try once or twice before returning them to the Diputacion. (If you are not here, or not likely to be here soon, please read point 10 below)

5. If you have received a notification from the correos, of a communication from the Diputacion, then the chances are that the previous years bill has been raised and, rather than go through the complicated pocess of contacting the Diputacion, Andreas in the Town Hall can, not only check the state of your IBI bill, but also provide you with a payable copy of the bill (which I have had him do for me).

6. The bills vary a lot in amounts per annum and increase by about 8% each year! As a ball park figure, these are now a bit higher than we originally suggested they may be, and come out at about  €380 for a 3 bed detached property on 850sq ms. But please bear in mind this is a very general figure as so many factors affect the assessments.

7. If you receive a bill which you feel you cannot afford to pay all at once there is a process for paying by instalments, however, it does not give you a great deal of help, even if they accept the need for you to delay paying. Forms for this process are available in the Town Hall from Andreas.
This is a short reume of the help available through delayed payments.
"Additionally I have got a copy of the form which requires completion if you wish to spread the cost of the IBI bill over time. I have to say it does not give a lot of grace. If the total bill is under €601.2 then you can apply for 3 months extra, if it is between 601.20 and 3,005.06 then you can claim additional 6 months to pay and if between 3,005.7 and 6,010.12 then you can apply for 12 months period. In each case however delayed payment will attract a small interest charge but not sure how much this will be."

8. I am advised that there will be an appeal process but have not yet managed to ascertain how this works. I will update when I know.

9. Our advice for everyone is that a) the chances are your property has had an IBI bill raised for this and previous years. b) if you have not received notification from the Diputacion then call in and ask Andreas to check his computer both now and again in September, as there is every chance that even if a bill has not yet been raised it could be, between now and September. c) It is expected that every property (maybe with one or 2 exceptions) will have received an IBI bill by September. Any non payment will obviously over time accrue penalties although I understand they are not as extortionate as the fines system!

10. Finally if you own a property in the Municipality and will not be out in the next month or two and you wish to know what the situation is with regard to your IBI bills then please email me with your address and NIE number and I will check through the TH computer with Andreas and inform you of whether the bills have been raised and, if you wish, the amounts due.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meeting with Architect re Licence issues Theatre Zurgena 26th July 1100

Following discussions, with a highly qualified architect from Tarragona, Jose Maria Crespo Alvarez, he has agreed to attend a meeting in Zurgena, so that all those, adversely affected by the problems of the Town Hall in issuing lIcences etc, can be advised of ways to progress their individual issues. He will attend a meeting in the Theatre in Zurgena at 1100 on Saturday 26th July and all interested party are recommended to attend.

Below is the email from Jose.

"Thanks to the efforts of Jim and the Mayor Mr. Díaz is subject that we make these efforts with the residents and inform them of all the steps you need to give to have all your license and the amount that will represent these efforts, technical and lawyers.
The Mayor, Mr. Díaz, cede us a room of the Town Hall, (the Theatre in Zurgena)  for the meeting of that day (Saturday 26th July 1100), in a demonstration of support that gives us that will solve the issue of the licenses requested by residents and not answered by theCity Council.
I enclose copy of all residents who requested a license of less work and not been answered them, so Jim convening lcan inform those of the meeting.
They can also go other people interested, but they have not asked for the time being no license, but may be interested in the future."

So you can see that whether yours is an issue of historical nature of a lack of grant of licences or a possible future application for a licence to build or even small building licence then it would be in your interest to attend (or send someone on your behalf) and hear what Jose has to say on this subject. I have to say, he has impressed me with his knowledge and understanding of Spanish Property and municipal laws and the ways in which individual THs can progress these issues.

I am forwarding this email to all those on a list which the TH has of people with outstanding Licence requests but you may wish to inform friends or neighbours who may have similar concerns or requirements.

If you know any of the below named please let them know too please,
Samuel Barrie Evans,
Linda Marjorie Barker,
Jean Haworth,
William Douglas Birrell,
Robert William Tagg,
Robert Henry Bird,

I recommend that if you have any issues regarding the Town Halls problems in the provision of building Licences of any sort that you try and attend this meeting.



If you have any questions or queries regarding this meeting please drop me an email or give me a ring. I will, unfortunately, not be at the meeting as I will be on holiday. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

La Alfoquia Fiesta Notice & Dog Training

Below is an internet translation of the notice re the Fiesta in La Alfoquia this week.

Also there is to be a dog training session

It's time to prepare your pet (if a dog)! If you want to improve the communication, education and complicity with your pet, do not miss the talk 'Communication and Language Canino' that professionals in the field offered in the premises of the Campsa this Thursday at 7.0pm. It's free!
The dogs taken to the event must have all vaccines as well as by the mandatory microchip.
Agustín Martínez Gómez, veteran orthopedic surgeon-natural de La Alfoquia will be responsible to read the opening speech at midnight on Wednesday.

Festivals, culture and sport. The Illescas and the municipality of Zurgena prepare to live some celebrations in Honor to the Virgen del Carmen, with a programme of activities full of proposals for all residents. A 'great Cohetada' mark at midnight on Tuesday to Wednesday the start of the holidays which will be held from July 16 to July 20.
Acts will open at eight in the evening on Wednesday with the opening of the 'I exhibition of Usos y Costumbres' in the cocheron of Renfe, where farming implements, tools and objects antique of the Valle del Almanzora, show organized by the Association 'Land of Esparto' together with the municipality of Zurgena. At eight o'clock the Virgen del Carmen will take place the first liturgical celebration with mass in honor of our Patron Saint. The liturgy will be accompanied by choir rociero 'Virgen del Carmen'. The musical Association of the same name will be commissioned to accompany the subsequent procession of the Patron Saint, which will begin after the mass.

At eleven will come the time for the part more fun and festive of our parties with the popular verbena enlivened by the 'Alma Joven' Orchestra. The fun will continue until well into the morning with the exception of deserved reading of the proclamation by renowned orthopedic surgeon Doctor Agustín Martínez Gómez at twelve midnight. Then the election of the Queen and mister of the festivities, miss sympathy will take place and miss tourism. At eleven-thirty on Thursday and Friday the Renfe station will host a craft workshop for children. That same day, from seven in the evening, animals lovers will have a unique opportunity to improve the relationship with your pet. A charla-practica on 'Communication and canine language' will offer attendees some keys to interact with their companions. Attendees must submit the immunization record with the microchip that requires legislation. At eight in the evening to open the exhibition 'Usos y Costumbres' until, at eleven o'clock, the Orchestra 'La Serena' brightens the evening. Friday will be one of the most fun days for children. After the workshops of craft in the morning, in the afternoon of the same day they can enjoy differently, for free, with the aquatic Festival with inflatable attractions in the Municipal swimming pool. The water festival will start at five in the afternoon and will come 7: 30 followed by a batch of children's games, bullfights cintasen bike and traditional games at the fairgrounds from 7: 30. At eight in the evening to open the exhibition ' traditions and customs. Half an hour later is played the final of the tournament of one paddle events along with 7 soccer and boules sports organised on the occasion of the festivities. At ten-thirty in the evening, the Association of dance 'Riá Pitá' will dazzle with his performance attendees at the exhibition site. Unique exhibition, sport and Theatre special mention deserves the exposure to that day was inaugurated at the Renfe station. Zurgena is the first stop of a spectacular photographic exhibition on the history of 'The railway in the Valle del Almanzora' which will be open until the next 24th of this month. 'Costa de Almería' Orchestra brings music to the popular verbena from the half-past eleven at night and until dawn. The fun will continue at six o'clock in the afternoon next day Saturday, 'Gran Fiesta of the foam' with music of animation in the sports. Football 7 tournament semifinal will begin at 7: 30 in the afternoon. Culture will come that day from the hand of 'Usos y Costumbres' exhibition open from eight and by the theatre. The street theatre allow all residents to enjoy without exception of the work that will be performed in the exhibition, entitled 'by a brother-in-law of dollars'. During the Saturday night, will be two bands which Etablissements one day with more public attendance at our parties. You charge put music to the evening will be the groups 'Cost of Almería' and 'Latin beat' duo. Sunday 20 July, last day of holidays, bocce enthusiasts have an appointment on the Esplanade opposite the trade fair grounds for the tournament of petanque. Between nine o'clock in the evening and six in the afternoon will be battling Football Hall of the municipal sports schools in Zurgena after a full year of outstanding results. At eight in the evening opens by last day 'Usos y Costumbres' exposure in the cocheron of Renfe, which will give way to the popular verbena enlivened by the Orchestra 'jupiter'. A castle of fireworks will mark the end

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

IBI, Dipuradora Plans for more income

Firstly it appears that I was wrongly informed and that many of the IBI bills which were expected at the end of September have started to arrive early with a requirement for payment by the 20th August. They have been in the region of €1,100 to €1,400 for the full 4 years. I will have to go back through my old blogs to find the detail on how to appeal or how to apply for the spread of the payments over a period of time but my recollections are that neither of these was a great help!

The Dipuradora for Cuesta de los Pinos which is currently being repaired is going to cost us quite a lot. The lorry which has been in attendance over the past couple of weeks with the pumping mechanism to clear out the tanks costs €100 per hour so that is going to be quite a bill when it arrives. They have almost finished cleaning the receptacle tanks and the valves the final bit of work will be done after the fiesta.

I have not yet had chance to discuss with Candido how much of the €400,000 grant for repairs we will get to utilise for repairs or what particular things they will be used on butI hope to have that discussion over the next week.

We had a meeting this morning at which Manolo explained to us how we could aply for more income by taxing the utility companies for their use of public land etc. For example the cables which Endesa have attached to all the public pylons we can charge them for. The same goes for the water, telephone and other public utility companies so we are to draw up some papers to allow us to apply for these funds and it will all be a great help to the TH for future works.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

La Alfoquia Fiesta

Just a quick post re the upcoming La Alfoquia fiesta and the Petanque tournament.

Firstly if you have a business and wish to advertise in the Fiesta Programme booklet you need to inform the Town Hall within the next 2 days! A standard sized advert is €25. It is a good place to advertise as many people refer to the programme and keep it for reference.

Secondly the dates are Wednesday 16th July until Sunday 20th July. I will publish the full programme shortly but bit short of time today. However as I had had a request I did ascertain that the Petanque tournament for the fiesta is to be held on the Sunday 20th July at 1030 in front of the Renfe. If anyone wishes to enter a team (of two) they need to call into the Town Hall and tell Noelia and pay their €12 per couple asap.  They want to complete the draw soon so the quicker you get in the better.

The Public library, including all the english books recently donated, is hoped to be open by September.

The EWiFi is still suffering some instability and I discussed this with the engineer this morning as I was getting fed up of missing TV programmes due to the fall out of the speed. He explained that to guarantee the stability and speed we need to install a new aerial in the clock tower and obtain a new telephone line from telefonica. We have both on order and hope to get this installed soon. Sorry for this ongoing problem.

I am trying to sort out a meeting between the Technico from Tarragona who said he could help the Town Hall and residents with the issue of small building licences. It is hoped to organise a meeting regarding this for the 26th July but am awaiting clearance from Luis. I unfortunately will not be here on that date but will communicate all that is needed before then.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fiesta Dates

As an early! notification these are the dates for the local fiestas this summer.

La Alfoquia Bank holiday date and start of fiesta Wednesday 16th July. It will then run over the following weekend.

Zurgena Bank holiday date should have been 31st but as that is a Sunday that has been moved to Friday 29th August and the fiesta will start the previous day and run over that weekend.

I will publish a full programme when it is ready.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Water Things and Seron Trip

The below copied from the electronic periodical La Vanguardia and shows that the water has now passed the quality tests for consumption by humans. There is more detail if you need it from following the link given.

Almeria, 25 jun (EFE).-La Junta de Andalucía has declared suitable water for human consumption of 83 towns of the province of Almeria, Costa Levante, Bajo Almanzora and Bedar supply areas managed by the supplying company GALASA.
The Territorial delegation of equality, health and social policies have been informed that this resolution takesplace as a result of the monitoring of the water quality which in recent months has made the public healthservice.
Thus is has proved that "the parameters analyzed are within the limits established by law", as it had claimedto the Territorial delegation GALASA.
Kernels affected by this resolution are located in the municipal terms of Carboneras, Mojácar, Turre, Antas,Arboleas, Cuevas del Almanzora, Garrucha, Huercal-Overa, Los Gallardos, Pulpí, Zurgena and Bedar.

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Secondly the TH are continuing with the work in conjunction with Galasa to resolve the waste water treatment plant at Cuesta de los Pinos.

Lastly I met with Paco this morning and after checking the workshop we could only find one or two of the missing street signs. I gave him my list and asked him to expedite the ordering and placing of these signs. 

Those of you who enjoyed the guided tour of the village may be interested in the next your that the same group are organising. Sorry about short notice!