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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Church Xmas Donation

This is a picture of the Christmas donations from the Church at Los Llanos del Peral to the Town Hall for the benefit of the needy. Once again they have excelled themselves in the charitable work. Thanks.
I will return to work next Tuesday.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Another Court Win for Candido

Click on the link to go to the report in La Voz. A great Xmas present for Candido and his family.

Candido wins another case

Friday, December 18, 2015

Harmony Donation

The ladies from Harmony Organisation presented to the Town Hall the grand sum of €1,000 for the benefit of the local schools. Seen in the picture are the Deputy Mayor Lola Antas receiving the cheque from Karen Revel and behind them is the director of the school in Zurgena Juan Francisco. The money is to go towards the timely provision of heating in 4 classrooms which are currently unheated!

Christmas Holidays

First of all may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and 2016, whether you are here in Spain or elsewhere.

This year has been quite an eventful one with the changes we have had to the administration but things are going well. We have not yet finalised Budgets for 2016 so I cannot say what ideas we have agreed for the coming 12 months. As soon as we know I will post.

We have yet to hear from the Junta de Andalusia regarding our PGOU but they do have until March 2016 to respond. We are continuing to try and apply political pressure on the responsible politicians

For your information Luis (our Mayor) is still suffering badly with conjunctivitis and I hope he gets better soon.

At our usual weekly meeting we added Calle Gualdalete to our list of tasks to be handled by the Town Hall. The necessary work, it is hoped, will be completed in the first 3 months of 2016.

I shall be on holiday from 21st December until 3rd January but will monitor my emails and remain in touch with the Town Hall.

If you are on our million step walk tomorrow (Saturday) at 4.0pm from the church in Los Llanos del Peral I will see you there. If not all the best.

The Town Hall will be closed Thursday 24th, Friday 25th, Thursday 31st and Friday 1st January.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bus Update and 1,000,000 Step Walk part 2

We have now run the bus service for the markets on Fridays (to Zurgena) and Mondays (to Huercal Overa) for 6 weeks. This has shown that there is insufficient support for the Friday bus service and this will be cancelled after this Friday the 18th December. The Monday bus has seen greater support and we are in negotiations with the bus company to see of we can reach agreement on a sensible subsidy to allow this to continue during 2016. The last bus to run this year will be Monday 21st. I will publish the result of our negotiations.

UPDATE We have agreed to subsidise the Monday - Huercal Overa market bus for the first 6 months of 2016.
 IF there is sufficient interest in maintaining it.
What we have agreed to do is to pay the bus company enough to make the service economic (from the operators perspective) by making up any short fall in the cost. The price of the bus will rise to €5 return and will run until the subsidy runs out e.g. the more that use it, the longer it will run e.g. if more than a certain number use it every week we may even be able to run it until the end of the year but if less than a certain number do it will cease when the budgeted amount runs out.

1,000,000 step walk (part 2) is going to set off this Saturday from the church at Los Llanos del Peral at 1600 hours. I hope a few of you can make it. The last one was very successful and was almost exactly 50-50 of the two communities. If you do join us you may wear anything christmassy e.g. santa hat etc. Just to be a bit more festive.

An update on Luis our Mayor he has been off work a few days with extremely severe conjunctivitis. He hopes to be back to normal soon.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Xmas Market & Update on Outstanding Issues

There is to be a local Xmas market at the Renfe this Sunday from 1000 until 1800. This one is being organised by the Town Hall for local businesses etc.

I am now maintaining a list of outstanding issues which you have previously reported to me. I have updated my list with what the position is regarding these issues. For your information they are as follows,

Calle Finlandia. we have an outstanding application for funding for the repairs to this road from the monies available to Town Halls following the storm. This is an application which we should have a response to in the New Year and is one where the TH provides 50% of the funding and the rest comes from the Regional authorities. We should know about this by February. If we are unsuccessful in this application we will include in the Provincial Plan.

Calle Escocia (as above)

Calle Dinamarca (as above)

Calle Ulla (included in Provincial Plan)

Calle Mino (Local project to be undertaken January

Calle Holanda (we are looking at the options to either raise the surface to allow drainage or what else we can do. Again this will be subject to an application under the flood monies or if not then an application in the Provincial Plan.

Re the outstanding requests for clearing and tidying of green areas including Calle Adriano, Andorra, Nervion, Miguel de Cervantes, Carl Von Linnoe, Calle Mino. there are others and I am awaiting a list of these so I know which are included and which are not.

Area of Los Llanos del Peral around Calle Juan Ramon Jimenez street lights not working. We hope to have the boletin accepted and the connection reestablished in the next 10 to 15 days but that may be pushing it given the fact that we are approaching Xmas.

Calle Gerardo Diego drainage next week should be sorted.

Ada Cañada del Herrero We need to replace the heads of the lights and have a new boleti so it expected they will be connected and working in January.

The first load of tarmac has already been used up and so we still have a number of potholes to fill. I have updated this list with your reports. The next lorry load of tarmac will be available to us in January.

Regarding the situation with regard to the conifer trees obstructing the view of drivers on the stretch of road between La Vida and Los Llanos I have visited, with the Police, and discussed with the situation with our Secretary. It does create a danger and we are approaching the farmer with view to resolving this issue. One answer (which we are actively considering) is to create a cycle path all along that road (that wasn't my idea but I think it is a good one). If that does not happen then we will ensure removal of those trees which cause the greatest danger.

Regarding the wheelchair access around the villages we are creating a priority list of this and will task the workers with doing it bit by bit.

As usual any questions or issues please email me.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Million Step Initiative Part 2

Following the great success of part 1 of the 1,000,000 Step initiative where we had a 50-50 split in participants (Spanish to expats) of over 40 persons we are to hold part 2 during December.

Trying to identify a date and time presented many difficulties, due to the run up to Xmas, and the elections on the 20th December. Eventually we decided upon Saturday 19th December starting at 4.0pm from the Petrol Station in La Alfoquia. As it is so close to Xmas it was suggested that we give the walk a christmassy feel. So if you wish to wear a Santa hat for something seasonal then please do. The Spanish will also be wearing seasonal items.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

NHW AGM and Postboxes

Firstly just a thank you to all those who attended the meeting yesterday to ensure the scheme can continue.

Secondly and due to the many new people who have moved into the area over the past few years I have a plea for those who still want a postbox to have mail delivered to in the Cuesta de los Pinos area. I know we already have 3 buzons side by side but I believe that there may be more than 6 people who could do with a box.

If you are one of those or you know someone who, maybe has just moved into the area, please ask them to get in touch and we will see if there are sufficient numbers to make it economic to order another. I did have a list of a few people but this is a bit out of date. I know I have now said this on more than 2 occasions but this is definitely the last time I will canvas and liaise to get a new box for this area so please please ensure any likely persons are aware.

Monday, November 30, 2015

La Alfoquia Junction and Church Invite

The Regional authorities are to improve the road layout around the area between the old Petrol station and the Union Bar. They are to create a new roundabout and change the road layout. II know this will please a number of residents who feel that the current situation is dangerous. These roads are the responsibility of the Junta and so we could not do anything but they have agreed to do this work which should commence in the next month or two.

I have been asked to append this to my next post and so here it is. They are getting very good attendance at their services and it is a great location.

An invitation to everyone to attend services at the Anglican Church at Llanos del Peral during advent.
Our services are held each Sunday at 11 am. Please join us for refreshments after the service.

There is to be a Nativity and Crib Service on Sunday 13 th Dec at 11 am. We would particularly welcome any children on this day. 

The very popular Carol Service is on Tuesday 15 th Dec at 6 pm.   Mulled wine, mince pies or shortbreads will be provided following the service. 

We look forward to seeing you all.

We are also collecting  for the Zurgena food bank. Boxes are placed in Cats services the Town Hall and Suzy's bar and of course the church. We would particularly ask for some Christmas treats this month. Please support this need.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bits & Potholes

Firstly I have been compiling a list of small potholes in anticipation of taking delivery of a lorry load of tarmac which should happen in the next week or so. If you have not already reported one that you know of please drop me a mail I have to have my list complete by Tuesday.

Secondly we are nearly ready to instal another green area between the Pool Bar area and the dual carriageway. We have taken delivery of the plants and they should be planted shortly.

Lastly following the success of the walk we are hoping to hold another Sunday 13th December. I will post when confirmed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Boom and Beds

Firstly to let you now that that massive explosion yesterday afternoon was a sonic boom created by a military plane. At first I thought it was another earthquake but the TH disci¡covered it was a sonic boom. Shook my house!

Secondly a couple of you had asked about car provision for the elderly or infirm in Spain and what, as residents we qualify for. The system here in Spain is similar to the UK as this is provided by their version of Social Services. Twice a week a representative from Social Service calls into the Town Hall to meet for prearranged appointments with people who require some help. This can be anything from a meals on wheels type of support right through the whole range to full residential care. At this  first stage arrangements are made to conduct assessments of the provision required and the financial situation of the applicant. If the applicant meets the appropriate levels (there are 4 grades of decency) then the care is provided appropriate to that grade and finance is set at levels predetermined and dependent on the individuals circumstances. I hope to go visit a one of the care homes for the elderly in the net week or two. There is one in Albox but unfortunately the one which had existed in Vera has closed due to financial problems.

If anyone wishes to be considered for such support then please call into the Town Hall and we will arrange to try and provide as much language support as we can.

Secondly there is a commercial company who we have had for meetings before run by Kim Clark called UK Benefits in Spain which can provide further assistance in ensuring you can get any benefits you may be entitled even though you reside in Spain.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

1,000,000 Step Walk and Walking Football

Today we held the first organised walk in connection with the Junta de Andalucia´s getting fit programme.

42 people (about 50% Spanish and 50% english speaking) braved the coolish temperatures and enjoyed a very pleasant 7.66km circular walk. Supported by two vehicles, one of which carried the essential water and oranges. Energy drinks were also provided at the end of the walk.

The general consensus was that people enjoyed the walk and would like it to be regular event. I will discuss with Lola this week and try and make it a monthly thing. With regard to the million step programme this walk accounted for 13,500 steps so multiplied by 42 = 567,000 steps so we are half way there!

My thanks to Kath Gaskell for helping to organise the expat walkers.

Also in the way of fitness issues Ian Hamilton is to start his weekly session of walking football at the football ground near the pool bar this Tuesday at 1100. Se his poster below. This is ideal exercise for those of us over 55 as you are not allowed run!!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Following our meeting Wednesday evening and discussions today we are hopeful, that the work on the next stage of the motorway from Cucador to the ermita at Palaces, should commence before the end of the year. This will provide a new road for all residents, living to the North of Cucador, with a road which bypasses the old village. It is a shame that it could not have been completed before all the heavy wagons have been using it in connection with the upgrade to the track from Los Llanos to Almajalejo. The next stage though from the remit at Palaces to Ballabona may take some time!!

We have received many suggestions for the Provincial Plan and many reports of minor issues which require attention. I have agreed a new process by which we can manage these issues. I will meet with the councillor for Public Works each Friday and discuss or review each of the outstanding matters and so prioritise the attention needed. Please bear in mind however, that there are some parts of our municipality where we are embargoed from doing anything by the Junta or the courts.

I have and maintain a list of all small (less than a few feet) potholes or damaged road surfaces and areas requiring cleaning which I supply to the TH workers and will be included in the Friday meetings I have with the other councillors.

Some bad news which some of you may have already noticed. We have suffered infestation of the Palm beetle on our magnificent antique palm trees in the Plaza del Olmo with the result that the top of one fell down. We also need to remove one or two of the others and then decide what will be best to replace them with. That decision not yet reached.

We are also working on ideas to increase visitors to the area and are considering a broad range of options as ways of doing this. If you have any suggestions which you think are worth considering please let me know.

We are also looking a new smart phone application (which is already exists just needs amending) for reporting defects etc to the appropriate department. I have seen it in action and it is a great modern day tool for Town Halls.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jose and Meeting

Firstly Jose Manuel is out of hospital. He had an angiogram this morning and got the all clear and will be back in the office tomorrow.

Secondly we had a really interesting meeting last night which lasted for over 4 hours. We discussed many things prior to our future meetings to consider the budgets.

The things discussed included the Police, Cerro Lomo and the Molino, the Tanatorio, and many other suggested projects for the Provincial Plan and our own projects. We have now to consider these and decide which to try and progress. We are still open for further suggestions for consideration.  So if you have any ideas which you consider are worth submitting please let me have them.

Remember we have the walk this Sunday at 10.0am setting off from Zurgena centre. It is only going to be 6 or 7 kms due to the difficulty of the support car being able to access ramblas damaged in the storm. So a nice gentle walk. Not sure how many Spanish taking part but I think there will be a few.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Asking for Trouble

I know this may well cause me some trouble but, we are at the moment preparing applications for consideration in the Plans Provincial for next year and, our councillor for public works, has asked that I feed through to her any issues such as lighting or road repair or surfacing issues.

If you have something which falls into this category please email me for us to try and include it in the applications. There is of course no guarantees but at least if we know and ask then we have at least tried.

Obviously there are a number of issues I am already aware of and I am meeting with various residents over the next few days to examine  others but if you feel your may not not have been included or you wish to remind me then please do.

If you can also forward a photograph together with the location of your suggestion that would help us.

We need to complete our considerations before the end of the month.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jose Manuel

Just an update on Jose Manuel. As some of you know I had to dash him to the hospital about 1120am this morning. He was suffering from chest pains and felt faint. The latest I have is that his checks have so far revealed nothing dangerous but he is being monitored. 

Million Step Walk

The Spanish authorities have launched an initiative to try and get people exercising by walking more and have called it the million step walk.

In support of this initiative the Town Hall of Zurgena has organised a walk this coming Sunday at 10.0am. It will be setting off from outside the Cajamar Bank in Zurgena and should be about 8 to 10 kilometres.

If you wish to join us just let me know and supply your NIE number or just turn up on the day. So lets all get fit!

Update it will leave from the Plaza del Olmo now.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Street Lights Cuesta de los Pinos (Cucador Norte)

For nearly two weeks now the street lights have been out across a large part of the above area. The Town Hall electrician believes he has located the problem and hopes to have them working later today.

We have now compiled a map showing the locations where ramps are needed in La Alfoquia. These are needed to allow wheelchairs and prams access to the pavements around La Alfoquia village. We do not have a budget for this so the Town Hall staff will do them bit by bit.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Calle Finlandia Avenida Europa & others

Today we had a meeting with one of our ex pat residents (Alan Marshall) who is a qualified road/bridge engineer.

I had asked him to meet with the Councillor for Public Works and the architect to explain his views on remedies to the road collapses on Agenda Europa, Calle Finlandia, Ireland, Escocia and others.

The meeting was informed that, as usual the regional authorities ask for our quotes, following such storms, very quickly and we have insufficient time to get a proper quote, thereby, each time, leaving us to make requests for financial support based on incomplete information.

However, we were meeting to find a way forward and with Alans´ assistance have identified proper ways to remedy the insecure roads. We will now be obtaining surveys and quotes with a view to applying for the financial support to implement these plans, which I would guess could be during 2016. That is what we will be aiming for. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Police, Jazz in the Park, Andres and Storm Repair Funding

For the information of all the Polizia Local can be contacted when they are on duty using the following number 664 395 513. As there are only 4 there cannot be 24x7 coverage and in the event of emergencies the 112 number should always be used. They can also be contacted by email at

Jazz in the Park at the chirinquito bar in Gines Parra Park at the bottom of Zurgena just above the rambla.

For information Andres is off work for the next two weeks as he is using up his holidays.

Our secretary and Architect have today gone down to Almeria with papers prepared to request funding to assist with repairs to the storm damaged areas. Hope we get a quick and favourable response.


Monday, November 9, 2015

PGOU, 1st Run of Bus Service and Medieval Market

Please find below a sequence of events relative to our work on the PGOU since April 2014.
  1. 28th April 2014 Plenary session of the Council opened the administrative procedure for public consultation of the plan and to seek any objections or requests from any organisations or administrative entities or any affected public interest.
  2. 29th April 2014 Communication of the plan to surrounding Town Halls in order that they may make any representations or requirements known.
  3. 6th May until 6th June 2014 Period of public examination or comment on the plans. During this period 79 allegations were presented to the Town Hall.
  4. Between 30th July and 14th October 2014 proposed resolutions to the allegations or amendments were signed by the editing architect of the PGOU Mr Francisco Salvador Granados and incorporated into the plan.
  5. The modifications to the plan as above were not substantial since and according to jurisprudence these allegations/representations would not substantially alter the overall, model of the plan.
  6. 21st October 2014 Plenary session of the council was held to resolve these matters and provisionally approve the document of the PGOU of the municipality.
  7. 16th December 2014 Binding sectoral (departmental) reports were requested from the Junta and the following were received on the dates shown 15th December area of fomentation from the Deputation. 6th April 2015 General Director Telecommunications and technology, 24th March Delegation of Culture Junta de Andalucia, 24th March Delegate of environment (water) Junta de Andalusia, 25th March <Report from the Territorial Delegation of environment Junta da Andalucia.
  8. 17th February 2015 an extraordinary Plenary meeting of the council was held to approve the an appendix to the plan incorporating the above (7) reports and the content of the appendix and modifications to the document again did not substantially alter the model of the plan or the public interest which is protected by the delegations etc who submitted their reports.
  9. After the approval of the document (the appendix referred to in 8 above) no new sectorial reports were requested by the Junta as no new modifications were introduced which could impact the structural ordinance nor the public interest.
  10. Following the submission of the approval of this appendix an unfavourable report was received from the the Consejeria de Medio Ambiente regarding water issues and this was forwarded to the editing team for corrections.
  11. 23rd October 2015 the document appendix 2 of the memorandum of the PGOU for Zurgena was received to address these issues. Drafted by the architect D Francisco Salvador for its incorporation to the file and remittal back to the Consejeria de Medio Ambiente y Ordinacion del Territorio (Council of the environment and ordination of the territory). The content of the appendix and the modifications carried out again do not substantially affect the decisions within the structural ordination but they do alter the protected interests of the public by the administrative entities and organisations which issued the reports and therefore the request of the reports from those organisations which could be affected is considered necessary
  12. 30th October 2015 the appendix 2 is provisionally approved and sent on the same day to the delegation of the environment and ordinance of the territory for its approval.
These are the bureaucratic steps that have been taken over the past year and a half. To summarise, the plans have been going through these processes for a long time but eventually it came down to about 18 objections based of water issues e.g. location of waste pipe or supply pipes. We have proposed (after discussions with our technical architect Francisco Salvador Granados) that each of these water points should be considered as favourable but conditional. Meaning that although we accept the points we are proposing ways that we can address these points. By doing it this way we hope to shorten the time necessary for the acceptance of the general plan. We now can only sit and wait for their response which has to be within 5 months of the submission date (that was why we were frantically meeting before the end of October). We

hope and expect the Junta to accept our plan in this format as it is how other areas have progressed their plans. As you can see from the above steps we have complied with and resubmitted our plans as quickly as possible at each stage of this latest series of requests. We now can only hope that no further objections or issues are raised (we do not think there can be) and that it is passed to the commission at the earliest opportunity. We will continue to press for that to be the case.

We ran the new bus service last Friday round the villages and into Zurgena and then today up to the market at Huercal Overa. Only 6 passengers last Friday but that included 3 elderly Spanish ladies from Palaces.Today I felt the timings were better and I am hopeful that more will make use of it otherwise we will have to discontinue it, which would be a shame as so many had previously intimated that they wanted such a service.

The annual Medieval Market will again be held in the Plaza del Olmo in Zurgena Pueblo on the 13th, 14th and 15th November. Pop along and enjoy the artisan crafts and the atmosphere is the old village square. Oh and spend some money.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Storm Damage Repairs

We have, as you could probably guess, many street and accesses that require attention following the downpour last weekend. The Town Hall staff (me included) have been attending these situations to compile a list and a plan to remedy the issues. These include applying for grants where necessary to enable us to make the repairs including more substantial ones where necessary.

We will work our way through this list, which includes individual properties, as well as streets, which have suffered damage or inundations but please be patient.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bus Service

Just to remind everyone of the commencement of the new Bus Services to Zurgena market (Friday) and Huercal Overa Market (Mondays).  The times and bus stops are as per the blog post of 27th October with the addition of one in Barrio de Chicago 0935 Fridays and 0940 Mondays.

I hope that enough people will use it. I myself will be riding on both buses and will speak with any and all passengers to get an idea for future plans. Use it for convenience or as a social event.

I had a meeting with the owner of Piki autobuses this morning to look at establishing a more regular (daily) bus service to and from Huercal Overa. We have agreed that, should there be sufficient interest, the TH will underwrite such a service. I personally think it could be a great benefit to residents and will be hoping for good support. If you believe that you would benefit from or use such a service please let me know. We are trying to formulate budgets for next year and this is one area I would like the TH to support but only there is a desire or need for it.

I will be posting an official update regarding all our recent work regarding the PGOU and where we are with this in the next day or two. I am just awaiting official clearance and final translations of a couple of documents to ensure accuracy.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Help Desk Press Release

The Help Desk at Zurgena Town Hall  assists in over 500 queries in first quarter

The main areas of assistance related to health care, utility bills and the urban General Plan.

The community service to British citizens of Zurgena has dealt with more than 500 queries (520 in total) from the month of June until last September. This service referred to as the 'Help Desk', is a service offered by the city of Zurgena to English speakers to help the citizens of the municipality with different administrative procedures to the same level as that of the indigenous residents.
Most of the attention and help given related to consultations about health issues and treatments and other issues about the social care. Additionally many enquiries related to municipal matters and formalities of residence registration, real estate tax and the obtaining of the CIF, as well as claims and advice on basic services, invoices regarding electricity and water as well as claims and incidents on public transport and the municipality. Specific information where appropriate regarding the General Plan of urban management (PGOU).
Another type of consultation that has been dealt with by the 'Help Desk' in the last four months are the requests for information on opening a new business.
The Help Desk has assisted many people by providing a one-stop translation service to solve different formalities.
“The Help Desk in English is essential for many of our neighbors that, due to the complexity of many procedures or to the urgency of many situations, is a very valuable service to assist any citizen in this service," said Help Desk provider José Manuel Gómez.
The Help Desk has also been commissioned to promote classes in Spanish for citizens of British origin. A score of neighbours currently use this service that allows them to receive one free hour a week of lessons in Spanish, in order to further encourage their integration into the local community.
The Mayor of Zurgena, Luis Díaz, believes that "for us it is a priority that all our citizens receive the same service and with the same quality, including those neighbors who willingly chose years ago our town to live". The Mayor explains that in addition to"provide a great service to hundreds of people each month, the Help Desk helps us meet our neighbors and find out what their concerns, priorities and suggestions to build a better Zurgena, day after day betting on the integration of all of its neighbours”.
Councillor for the english speaking community Jim Simpson added, ¨the addition of Jose Manuel to the staff in the Town Hall has greatly improved our ability to help our 
community with a broad range of issues and to be more proactive in our future planning.¨

The picture shows from left tom right Jose Manuel Gomez, Jim Simpson, Maria Dolores Garcia (Teniente Alcalde) and Luis Diaz Garcia (Alcalde)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Bus Service

You may remember about 5 years ago I conducted a survey about what people wanted in the way of provision of local services. well one of the suggestions was for a bus to service all the outlying areas. Well we have at last made a provision for this.

Zurgena Town Hall are to trial for a few weeks a new bus service to provide transport from the outlying villages of the municipality to the markets of Zurgena (Fridays) and Huercal Overa (Mondays). This should be a great help to people.

This service will operate under a subsidy from the Town Hall to test the demand for such a service.

It was thought that some of our citizens were restricted, through lack of transport options, from getting out and about and visiting the markets. This service will provide them that option. 

It was also thought that not only people with lack of transport options but possibly those who see it as a social occasion may wish to make use of it and we hope that as many people as possible use the service and thereby ensure it remains as a regular service for all those in the outlying villages.

The service will be provided by Piki Autobuses of Zurgena and the provision of the service will be reviewed after one full month of operation. It will be a case of use it or lose it.

The attached document shows the pick up/drop off locations and the tariffs for the service. The service will commence on Friday 6th November for Zurgena market and Monday 9th November for Huercal Overa market.

If the service proves popular or provides a service which many of our citizens use we will look to extend the service to other days of the weeks and possibly other locations.

Disgusting Rubbish

On a recent walk I took this picture of a large amount of rubbish dumped in the rambla which runs parallel to the east of the road between La Vida and Los Llanos del Peral. If you recognise any of this rubbish or have any idea who may have dumped it please let us know.

From examination of the rubbish its looks as if it probably belonged to a British person who had a dog or dogs and a child or children.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Million Steps & Frantic Action

In order for us to address the issues raised by the regional authorities regarding our PGOU we are frantically trying to get a lot of work done so that it can be resubmitted before the end of this month. In order to do that we have to complete certain processes and official steps. So it looks like we will be  having Plenos and meetings early this week with a submission by Friday of this week. As of course the month ends on Sunday and Monday is a holiday and any delay into next month could delay action by a lot more than 1 month. Our technical architects have been amazing in their input.

My supportive wife and I went out to sample a walk of over 10kms this afternoon. I had just remembered this morning that we had not organised the million step walk that the authorities in Spain are encouraging Town Halls to organise I spoke with Lola and she aid we just needed to work out a route and then set a date. So my (supportive) wife and I went out to sample a walk of over 10kms this afternoon. So now we have a route, almost 12kms, and we will set a date and time soon and publicise it.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wheelchair access and Pleno

We held a short Plenary session last night. This was to agree to take responsibility for sufficient supply of water to all the houses until the year 2027. The reason we had to do this was because the PGOU had included reference to the fact that the water supply was guaranteed by Galasa but that they are a private company and could (in actuality) cease to trade leaving the area without sufficient water. So from a technical point of view we had to take over that responsibility. One more hurdle cleared.

We had hoped to be able to put on a big bonfire night event but due to logistics our plans have been scuppered for this year may try again next year.

I am conducting a review of the accessibility of our streets for wheelchairs and prams. It does appear as if we fall some way short of this provision. I will submit a report to see if we can address this problem. I have already met with one wheelchair user. If you know of anyone who wishes to have some input then please put them in touch.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Enjoyable Day

Today was one of the more enjoyable days in the Town Hall.

First we were able to watch the children take part in a  Road Safety awareness course which we had organised for them with the local schools. Over 50 kids took part.

Then on behalf of the poorer families in our community we received over 15 bags full of groceries from the Church of Los Llanos Del Peral.
Then we managed to progress the idea of starting a Monday market day bus service to provide the opportunity for people from all our villages to go to the market at Huercal Overa. This service which we hope to start in a  couple of weeks will cost about 3 or 4 euros and will collect from every village area. This should be of benefit to many people but we (that is the Town Hall) will underwrite the service for a few weeks to see if it can be viable.

And finally we have a Pleno meeting this evening at 8.0pm with just one item on the agenda and that is regarding the Town Hall taking the administrative responsibility for the water supply until 2028. This is an important step for our PGOU.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Postal Boxes opposite La Vida

I have now received 3 requests from people who would like a post box in the bank opposite La Vida. This number is uneconomic to buy and install another bank of boxes but I am aware that number of people have left the area who did own boxes but whose need for them has surely passed.

If you have the keys to a postal box in this location which you have no further need for please let me know. I am sure those waiting would be willing to pay you €30 for your key.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Extension to the New Motorway

As some of you may have noticed it looks like the completion of the motorway from Cucador to Ballabona is now being worked on. I had hoped to be able to give you a time frame but, I have failed to get a commitment on that. I have however reproduced below a copy of the plan for the next section, for your information.
The plan only shows up to our boundary with Concepcion.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Traffic Office etc

It is a very hectic week this week in the Town Hall.

We have also had a number of issues around personnel and in addition to that we have meetings about the PGOU with our technical architect this morning and today and tomorrow we have budget meetings for next years budgets. So my apologies if I have been tardy in my responses.

One thing which I have been asked about is whether the Town Hall can now deal with changes to vehicle ownership and other changes regarding vehicles. The legislation necessary has been agreed and we will in the near future be able to provide this service but it will be between 1 and 3 months to get the necessary systems and processes in place. I will update when I know for sure. This will be a great help over the current system.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Market Bus

We are all in the process of drawing up our budgets for the next financial year. 

One of the ideas which I am considering is the instigation of a twice weekly bus to collect passengers from the villages and a) on a Monday to visit the market at Huercal Overa and b) on a Friday to visit the market in Zurgena.

The idea being to facilitate the access of people to the two markets. This would help anyone who feels lonely or cut off and it could also help integration with the local community who we think would use this service. Or even just as a social thing.

It would pick up from all the main villages after the school run and then return before 2.0pm.

To help me argue for the funds for this it would help if you, or someone you know, who would value such a service, let me know. I just need to get some ideas of numbers.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fiesta de Virgen del Pilar

Today was the day of the Virgen del Pilar who is the saint of the Guardia Civil and forces own Spain.

A service was held at 1200 hours at the Ermita in La Cinta, Arboleas and thereafter a fiesta at the Cuartel (Station) of the Guardia Civil in La Alfoquia.

Note the kids and the empty paella pan. It is always delicious this one, (the paella not the kids) which is apparently provided by Ballabona.

From left to right Emelia Igea Morata, Manolo, Me, Lola Antas and Jose Manuel

Our Guardia Civil officers and 3 of our Polizia Local outside the Ermita at La Cinta after the service.

Friday, October 9, 2015

More Detail of the last Court Ruling

Below is a google translated version (for which I apologise) of an article printed in Actualised Almanzora today and gives more detail on the recent court ruling. This court has basically ruled in a  way which reflects what Candido has been telling us since day one! 

The recognition of provincial subsidiaries standards as regulations for licensing of works represents a strong backing to the performance of Candido Trabalon and questioned the thirty legal proceedings opened against its urban policy

By ratifying the ruling handed down by the Criminal Court No. 4 of Almeria which acquitted of a crime of trespass to the former Mayor and the rest of your corporation by granting licenses to build five houses in El Cucador, the provincial high instance gives a slam in noses to the stratagem of the Board and the Prosecutor's Office in all the cluster of processes that maintains against who was behind Alderman. The explicit recognition of provincial subsidiaries standards as sufficient legislation to grant licenses for works in the municipality is, moreover, an overwhelming endorsement of the urban action of corporations under the chairmanship of Mocada and questioned the thirty legal proceedings opened against the urban policy of Mocada.

The case was meant to elucidate if the construction of five houses in the neighborhood of El Cucador zurgenera between 2005 and 2006. The trial was held in Almeria Criminal Court No. 4 and concluded, in the first instance, with the acquittal of all the defendants.

Included as defendants, as well as the then-Mayor of the town, Cándido Trabalón, his Deputy Mayor, Manuel Tijeras, the councilmen Emilia Jiménez Pérez, José Antonio Ramos, Juan Morales, Aniceto López and Miguel Marín, as well as the promoter, Jose Torres, and the architects José María Urrea and Francisco Salvador, authors, respectively, of the project and technical based on that report were granted licenses.

The Court issued the acquittal because he understood that soil where the houses were built "had urban character", while the prosecution argued that, pursuant to the law of urban planning of Andalusia, the terrain was "undevelopable".

Why did no. 4 criminal judge to that conclusion? The statement argued that soil was urban based on the provisions of the transitional provision 7 of the law of urban planning of Andalusia, known as LOUA, which establishes that in the municipalities which at the time of the entry into force of the law, on December 17, 2002, "do not have general planning", may be ascribed as those soils that meet at least one of several criteria describing urban including the section 'a' indicates "be part of a core of existing population (...) and have, as a minimum, of the urban services of access rolled through urban, water, sanitation, and low voltage electricity supply."
Based on this and after practice timely test, demonstrated, according to the Court, that "the ground had urban infrastructure paved, electricity, water and sanitation until the accused developer to acquire", and ensures "that the plot is eligible to be considered as urban land" pursuant to "Annex I to the provincial subsidiary rules".

This resulted in the opinion of a judgment of acquittal, which was appealed by the Prosecutor's office before the Provincial Court, whose judges of the section 2 have ratified it. Mocada and yours was granted license correctly.

While the audience repeatedly recognized in its judgment to the LOUA as the law when it comes to classifying soils, adds that "not be ignored the normative ambiguity introduced concerning the subsidiary rules of provincial de Almería, approved by the Ministry of public works and transport of the Junta de Andalucía on 31 August 1987" which contain a list of towns or neighborhoods in Zurgena, among them El Cucador.

But it is more, section the hearing, presided over by Judge Rafael García Laraña, 2nd goes beyond and recalls that "the delegation of the Ministry reiterated later consideration of urban one of those non-core neighborhoods" main - the own village of Zurgena.

The provincial room refers in his argument that "the municipality had legal and technical reports to the licensing" and questioned the conviction of the public prosecutor on appeal the acquittal of Cándido Trabalón and the rest of the defendants when "it desisted from the action" against the technical author of the favourable report which were granted licenses.

Another wake-up call that makes hearing the Prosecutor this related consideration making this about that judgment acquitting Criminal Court No. 4 "lacks legal arguments to argue that the land is urban." Thus, the judgment of the Provincial Court affirms that the argumentation of the Court "is a brief motivation and short development, but the truth is that it expresses (...)" the reasons of fact and law"that lead to the verdict of innocence for the accused.

Cándido Trabalón is welcomed by this new acquittal. P

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Galasa Communication

By now many of you may have received your Galasa bill with an enclosure which even to the Spanish is a little complicated to understand so, to assist, I have discussed it with the councillor for Galasa.
She has informed me that the communication is basically to explain who is responsible for what relative to the pipework connecting an individuals home to the waste point, be that a pozo or a general sewerage system. Galasa are stating, in that communication, that the diagram shows a dotted red line and everything to the left of that line is the householders responsibility and to the right the responsibility of Galasa. However, we do not think they are correct. We believe that Galasa should also be responsible for a larger part of the pipework and our councillor will table it for the next meeting she has with Galasa.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Food Banks and Library

A couple of things to bring to your attention, if you are interested,

Firstly Pam Tilley has done a great job at the library over the past few weeks. She has single handedly documented all the english books and got them registered. The usual librarian Anthonia has been off sick and that left Pam in at the deep end but she has managed very well. There are now 100s  of english books available in the library which, if you do not know where it is, is where the Spanish lessons used to be held in Zurgena. If you go to the old square and take the road which runs up from the right hand side with the bar on your left, the door to the library is the one on the left of the bar entrance. It is up 2 flights of stairs but there is a disabled lift if needed.

Secondly the ladies from the church at Los Llanos are trying to establish a regular collection of items for the poor of the villages and to that end they have deposited collection boxes at CATS, Zurgena Town Hall and Bar Suizo opposite the Cajamar. If you have anything which you wish to donate please place in these boxes and the church will collect and bring to the TH for distribution to the needy.

Lastly does anyone know of Julie Ann JONES. I have a bill for her from the Diputacion which could be her IBI. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Back in the Office

I had a few days away in Galicia last week so just getting things sorted. I had a problem with my computer last week due to an OS upgrade and may have lost some data. If you have sent me an email and I have not responded please send me a reminder.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Any Athletes out there?

The Town Hall has organised a running race next Sunday the 4th October. If anyone is interested in taking part drop me an email.

It is over a distance of 8kms (adults) and 300 metres (kids). Can think of one or two of you who may fancy it.


Just to add that the adults race starts at 11.0am and the kids at 10.0am

I am also advised that we will be having a magician performing for the kids on Friday  the 16th October at 8.0pm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Another Favourable Court Result (Update)

The Audience Provincial (Superior Court) has this week made a final ruling on another one of the outstanding court cases regarding building licences in Zurgena and included, in the judicial summary, was the fact that the 3 judges, sitting on the case, ruled that the land was urban and that the issue of the licences etc had been done correctly by Zurgena.

This case also creates a further precedent supporting the THs case for the outstanding ones. This Court is the highest that can rule on these matters and there is therefore no avenue left open for any further appeal in this case.

You can ignore the way La Voz has reported this as we do not recognise its interpretation of the ruling and will examine how they have reported it.

The case relates to the issue of 5 building licences for houses built on a piece of land between Cucador and Los Carasoles. Of the 5 licences granted only 2 houses were built and both of those are unoccupied.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Annual Petanque Tournament

I know you are all getting really good at bowling but you have a chance to shine at another sport, next Sunday, September 27,the  "LOCAL CIRCUIT PETANCA 2015" will be held. The tournament begins in our town. If you are interested in taking part please be at the esplanade in front of the Renfe at 9:00 am for registration. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Harvest Festival Donations

The Church of Los Llanos del Peral held their Harvest Festival service yesterday and then donated the proceeds to be distributed to the needy of our villages.

The member of the Council with responsibility for the distribution of aid to the poor has a list of families which require help an the food will be divided into parcels for distribution to those families.

I also understand that the church intend placing boxes in various locations such as the Town Hall, CATS in La Alfoquia and others where people can deposit any contributions they wish and this will be likewise distributed.

In the photo below are from left to right Janet Smith, Luiz Diaz Garcia (Alcalde), Richard Gall, Dudley Reily, Allan Drummond, Margie Gall and myself.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Harvest Festival Service

The people who run the Anglican Church in Los Llanos del Peral have asked that I publish the fact that this coming Sunday at 11.0am they will be holding a (non communion) Harvest Festival Service at 11.0am. They are following this with a bring and share lunch which previously has been very well received.

If you are interested in joining them you are most welcome. The church is beginning to become quite integrated with the community and their collection of foodstuffs is now being shared with the poorer families of our villages. So I commend their services to you and any donations of non perishable food on the day or thereafter will go to the poorest in our communities

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blood Donors

After being told that there was not a problem with UK people giving blood it turns out that that is not quite the case. If you are from the UK over 60 and/or lived in the UK during the mad cow era then they will not take your blood.

Sorry to anyone who attempted to give blood today but I was relaying what I had been told!

Friday, September 11, 2015

List for Padron

Below is the latest list for people who should confirm that they are still on the Padron. Just call in with your NIE or passport please.

David John Arnold, Paul Stephen Kearney, Carmen Kleifges,Norman Adrian Lowe, Susan McCarthy, Angela Margaret McCourt,Leonard McCourt, Colin Spink, Gloria Margaret Spink, Stephen A T Long, Annie C Wilson.

If you know of any of these people please inform them. Thank you.

I have had a productive day spending time with the Director of the school in La Alfoquia discussing various issues of child safety and interaction with the Polizia Local. Also spent time with the Guardia Civil with a view to rolling out some internet, security type courses for adults and young people. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

IBI Dates & Instalments &UPDATE

Just to clarify when payment of IBI is due as I may have confused the issue.

If this is the first year that IBI bills have been raised for your property the Deputacion will have raised the previous 4 years bills. These have to be paid by 21st September otherwise they attract a small increase in penalties if payment made after that date. In some cases the Diputacion have raised the 4 years bills and not yet sent the 2015 ones.

The bills for this year (2015) have to be paid by the 20th November. So if you received a 4 previous years bill last year then you only need to await the 2015 one and pay that by November

From the blog of last summer the following is appropriate if you wish to spread the cost of your IBI bill,

¨ 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."

I will ask how much the additional charge for delayed payment is.

Regarding the instalment process I have clarified the process and now understand that on completion of a form, which I can obtain from the Town Hall, which  is sent together with copy of passport and NIE to the Deputation. If they accept the application for instalments they then reply either to the applicant and/or the Town Hall informing them of the amounts to be charged monthly to their bank accounts. It follows therefore the you need to have a Spanish bank account. We do not know the amount of the charge to do it this way but it is a small percentage. If anyone wishes to follow this procedure please let me know asap and I will supply the form etc. It is a simple form to complete.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rain Damage

I have today forwarded to the councillor for Public Works pictures of the areas where the rainwater caused damage to the roads or road supports or flooding. There are quite a lot to attend to although some have already been sorted quickly, but others are requiring attention.

Education Course

Below is a public information poster translated into english for your information. This is one of a number of initiatives which are held to further local level education.
If you are interested in taking part please email for further details.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Busy Day

Well that was a manic day.

First day back after the holidays usually is I think!

Had a short time with Luis to go over outstanding issues the first of which was the PGOU. I explained that it was talking longer than I thought to get movement and wondered what we could tell people (as we had, in the run up to the election promised fast action). He suggested that the best thing to do was to hold a meeting at which we could invite the various delegates from the Junta to attend and this would have a dual purpose of informing people and showing the people who mattered the frustration of the residents. So I hope once we get  date suitable to all concerned that we can get a good turnout. As soon as we can organise I will post.

The Polizia local have seen a change in staff in that one has left to go to Purchena, but we have a new member of the team, Jose Anthonio from Huercal Overa. I have not yet met Jose Anthonio but hope to in the near future. We are considering establishing a Junta de Seguridad to bring together all parties responsible for security to ensure we apply best practice. Also whilst mentioning the Police I am continuing to press for the funds to obtain bullet proof vest for the officers (becoming more pressing due to recent incidents elsewhere).

The application for the CIF for the Bowling Club committee needs another 2 forms submitting!! I will ensure they are done tomorrow.

We are assisting the church (of Los Llano del Peral) to organise distribution of their Harvest produce to the needy of the villages. There are 75 families who qualify for such help and a list is maintained for who has,, or needs help this the.

IBI bills are in th process of being issued for this year although the last day of payment is not until the 20th November. After that date charges can accrue.

We may also call a meeting to help garner views on what the community wants from Jose Manuel. The difficulty is in managing his time between the classes, medical appointments and assistance to me. Wildest re any decisions on this.

The Spanish blood transfusion service will be in attendance in Zurgena on Monday 14th September between 1900 and 2200 hours at the Town Hall. If you are a blood donor please attend. I am informed that appointments are not needed juts go along on the day.

The new library hours are Monday and Wednesday 1000 x 1230 and Tuesday and Friday 1730 x 1830. Pam Tilley (our stalwart Library volunteer) will be manning the library on her own for a while as Anthonia suffered an injury during last weeks fiesta.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back to Normal

I returned from my holidays yesterday evening and already have a number of issues to discuss next week.

I intend going into the TH most days next week and will try and resolve the outstanding issues. If you contacted me prior to 8th August and I have not yet replied then please remind me of your issue so that I can ensure my list is complete.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bowling Green

Just a further short post today.

The Bowling Green has now finally become the property of the Town Hall the Junta attended on Tuesday with the contractors and signed it over to us. So we can now use it!

Further to that, and for the purposes of transparency and openness, I can inform you that the steering group established at the meeting last month are in the process of obtaining the necessary registration with a view to negotiating with the Town Hall to be the body to manage the green going forward. I do have to mention that, whilst this is a good option for the village the process is open to anyone who wishes to be considered as the managing company or individual. If anyone is interested then please contact me.

I am now on holiday until the 4th September however, I will monitor my emails and respond if needed although probably not as quickly as usual.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I am trying to clear my desk of outstanding issues as I start my holiday later this week. The list is going down surprisingly well!

We are hopeful that the Bowling Green will finally be handed over to the Town Hall today, once the Diputacion representative has checked it over with the contractors.

Most of the other outstanding issues are either being attended to or are waiting something.

From this Friday, until the start of September, Jose and or Andreas will be working and can help with most things. I will also monitor my emails and respond if needed.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday 2nd August

Just a couple of small bits of progress this week to report.

The work has commenced on the upgrade to the water pipe for the area of Calle Nervion.

The new sink has been fitted to the back room at the church hall in Los Llanos.

Also there has been discussions about the new road layout for Los Carasoles but I do not know if, or when, that will get approval. When I find out I will post.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Bowling Green

We recently had a meeting in the Town Hall with the secretary with a view to progressing the hand over of the bowling green to a maintenance/management organisation. I am pleased to say that the feeling of those involved, in the TH, was that we should try and have local people, who want to use the facility, to be the ones to manage it. So a process has been agreed to try and make this happen. It is too early to say with any certainty but the TH do want this to be the way forward rather than a 3rd party organisation from outside the area. There is already a steering group for the green and they are now in the process of obtaining the necessary documentation to enable them to open discussions with the TH with a view to managing it. So hopefully within a month or two and if all parties are agreeable we could have local people in control of the green.

Selling or Scrapping a Car in Spain

To help people avoid any issues when selling or getting rid of a motor vehicle I have outlined below the procedures that follow relative the the Town Hall. If you do not follow this advice the car will remain in your name and any fines taxes etc will be enforceable on the registered owner.

A. If the there is to be a change of ownership the car papers have to be presented in the Guardia Civil Trafico in Almeria (or done through a gestoría). Thereafterwards the Guardia Civil will comunícate the changes to the Diputación of Almeria and the Diputación will send to the local town hall the official list with the changes that must be done to the vehicles registered in Zurgena.
B. If the car is being scraped (scrapyard), it has to be done through an official scrapyard named by the regional authoreties (junta de andalucia....), the car details and the communication from the scrapyard will be sent to the Guardia Civil Trafico in Almeria (it is up to the scrapyard to do the paperwork), afterwards the Guardia Civil will comunícate the changes to the Diputación of Almeria and the Diputación will send to the town hall the official list with the changes that must be done to the vehicles registered in Zurgena. 
Normally when someone sales or scraps a car and comes into the town hall we tell them:
If the paper is from the scrapyard they are told to save the paper because the TH cannot make any changes until they have been sent or supplied with the list from the Diputación. If there is a mistake in the list sent to us (sometimes it happens) the person will come in with the paper from the scrapyard and the TH can fix the mistake. thats why I tell everybody to save that paper. The TH cannot act until that paper is received.

If the car has been sold to some one else then there is no paper issued that the TH need to see, as the car changes are done directly in the Guardia Civil Trafico or through a Gestoria.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday 30th July

We have a problem with Buzon No 2 opposite La Vida. The lock has completely broken and the boxes are insecure. I have removed the post and will deliver to those who have any. I have arranged for a local locksmith to attend asap but probably not until pm tomorrow.

We have a Pleno tonight but I do not think anything exciting.

Had meetings this morning with bar owners in La Alfoquia regarding the complaints about noise etc and hopefully this will resolve the issue.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Integration Day

This weekend the 5th Annual Integration Fiesta takes place in the area of the Pool Bar. The programme is as below.

Incorrect Number

On the previous blog post for the help desk I made an error and showed the wrong telephone number for Andreas. His office number is 950 449 006.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Street Cinema

There is to be a street cinema showing of Los Boxtrolls tonight at 10.0pm in Zurgena in Calle Juan Andres Toledo, near the school.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday 23rd July

Update on this week so far.

I had a very encouraging meeting with Diego of the Polizia Local about their ways of working and how to make the service work, to as good a level as possible, in the future and we shared a few ideas and issues.

Then spent some time with Luis going over where we were with a number of issues. I can confirm that all the new councillors are working very hard in their differing fields to progress all our issues and projects. In fact I was given a mild telling off for not doing more myself! Apparently, due to the role I have now been given, I should be more bossy and demand things. Well Sue (my wife) knows I am not like that!!! However, he is pushing both me and the other councillors to progress our individual responsibilities. He reinforced the fact that I should use all of the resources at my disposal to do my job better.

In relation to the PGOU we are all working together with the regional authorities to move things on and to this end I am to be given briefings later this week and next week about the situation.

I have meetings with the secretary about contracts on Friday and, as a member of the Commission for the Hacienda, another meeting on Friday afternoon.

We are still trying to organise some intercambios but we have had difficulty is getting good enough support from the Spanish community. However, Jose feels optimistic that after the holidays e.g. in September that we will be able to get these established.

Jose has asked if he can take next week off and as Andreas will be taking a week later in the month and I am off most of August it is the only time he can be off when we still have some cover for the help desk. So there will be no Spanish classes between 27th and 31st July.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Quick Update Friday 17th

A couple of points which I clarified this morning as a result of questions from residents.

1. Calle Nervion water pressure. An agreement has been reached with New Horizon Villas and Galasa to upgrade the pipework to increase the pressure for all the houses in this area. It is hoped that that will happen in the next month or so (bearing in mind holidays!!!)

2. The works at the foot of Calle Abderraman as a result of the sewerage installation. These will be completed once we get approval from the Deputation. We had to amend the contract applicator to include a few extra bits and this should be signed doff shortly. It will also cover the other streets etc where resurfacing was included in the plan.

3. The connection of the area of Avenida Poetas (and all the street around) to the main sewerage will be included in the Project for 2015 which should mean that the work to connect these houses will be completed in 2016.

4. I am awaiting news as to how the PGOU is progressing but was unable to discuss with Luis this week. Will tie him down next week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Slowing Down for Summer & a Thank You

As many of you know this is the time of the year when things slow down dramatically. We have the fiestas over the next few weeks and during August most staff are on holiday, including myself for most of the month. I will try and monitor and respond to any emails but there may be a slight delay.

During August the Town Hall will remain open as usual although with a skeleton staff some days. The only days it will be closed are the Bank Holidays. First of these is tomorrow 16th July then I think 31st August but there is another in between not sure what that date is.

Jose did not know about the holiday, tomorrow, himself but now that he does I will try and email those whose classes will be cancelled. Sorry about that.

I have to add a personal thank you to a lady who originally offered to help Anthonia, sort out the library but, has after many days working in that sweatshop, today been assisting with the organisation of the provisions for the poor in the Town Hall. Thank you Pam Tilley.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fiesta Programme for La Alfoquia this weekend.

Programme for this weekends Fiesta.

Thursday 16th July

Midnight  Fireworks to inaugurate the fiesta
2030  Celebration in Honour of our saint La Virgen del Carmen
2100  Procession with the band.
2300  Music by the orchestra
0030  Election of the Infant and Juvenile Queens and the Master of the Fiesta and Miss Simpatia and Master of Tourism

Friday 17th July

1130 Craft Workshop in the Renfe.
1900  Infant Games and the Corrida on cycles.
2230  Flamenco Dancing by team from Puerto Lumbreras and Zurgena.
2330  Orchestral music from the band Orquesta Kaos 57.

Saturday 18th

1130 as Friday 17th
1900 as Friday 17th
2330 as Friday 17th

Sunday 19th

1900  Parade of the Horses on the esplanade in front of the Renfe.
2300  Orchestral music from the band Orquesta Kaos 57.
0030 Awards Presentation.
0200  End of Fiesta.

Calle Nervion Water

I have finally had an explanation about why the water pressure in Calle Nervion is so low and frequently not flowing at all.

According to Galasa, when the houses were connected to the water supply and within the original contracts, Galasa stated that there was low water pressure due to the old pipework, connecting that street to the main pipe, being of a much smaller diameter than the main pipe. This obviously results in a knock on effect to the pressure and the supply.

They have said that they, together with either the developer or original landowner are looking at resolving this issue but replacing the old pipe with a new larger diameter pipe but that the cost of that will have to borne by the residents.

I have been communicated by residents of Calle Nervion who tell me that this is a load of rubbish! I will pursue next week with the councillor responsible.

Friday, July 10, 2015

English Speaking Helpdesk

Following the latest election result the Town Hall in Zurgena has made improvements to the support for the English speaking community within its administrative area. 
Under the management of the Mayor, Luis Diaz Garcia and the Councillor for Integration, Jim Simpson these improvements include an additional full time member of staff in the person of Jose Manuel who will compliment the service which Andreas Bonillo has been providing on his own for the past 7 years. 
The Help Desk will be situated in the reception area of the Town Hall and will be clearly signed. It is hoped that, whilst it cannot be attended 100% of the time by one of these english speakers, a large percentage of time will be covered.  Additionally, shown below, are the contact numbers on which you may reach one of the staff if the desk should not be manned. The Town Hall is open from 0900 until 1400 each day.
The Zurgena Help Desk is there to assist all our citizens with any issues or problems they have where the lack of language skills restricts their ability to resolve such issues.

2º Teniente Alcalde Jim Simpson 
Mobile  610194260 

Jose Manuel  Integration Support Team
Mobile 687824452

Andreas Bonillo
Office 950449006

From left to right, Jose Manuel, Luis Diaz Garcia (Alcalde) Me, Andreas.