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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.