My email

My email

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!