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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Library Open

The Town Hall library is now open as per the announcement below. Sorry could not copy and paste it.

It is open on Monday to Friday 1000 x 1200 and 1600 x 2000.

My sincere thanks to Chris Hancock and Anthonia for their hard work in getting sorted out.

If you do not know the location of the library it is in Zurgena if you go into the main square and take the road which goes up from the telephone box it is on the left hand side next to the bar. Go up the stairs and you are there.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Final Totals

Well after a difficult campaign, where some of our opponents resorted to rather unsavoury tactics, it looks like our, more positive, campaign gained its reward.

The final figures would appear to give us, not just a minimal majority, but an improved position with 7 out of the 11 seats!

I believe the other parties got 2 ZD, 2 Cuidadanos and 1 PP but not 100% sure of that bit.

This really gives us the mandate to push our claim (supported by the Junta) for a speedy progression of our PGOU. (one of our expats won €20 from Luiz, our mayor, by betting we would win the election!)

Once again thanks to all of you for your support and I promise that I, and our party, will do everything we can to move our issues forward quickly. You do not know how appreciative I am of your support in this. When I started doing this job, and today, the only reason I do it, is to try and represent you in all things politic. So your support is the most important motivation for continuing.

I will post the new councils list of councillors´ responsibilities once we have sorted them out.

Nervous Wait

And now the nervous wait, hopefully for not too long.

Thanks for all of you who supported us today it was a very good turnout by the expat community. Now just have to wait and hope we an reach the magical 6 seats. The more experienced local politicians think we may well not have reached that number but who knows.

The result is expected within an hour or two.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cakes and my PSOE Campaign

Well today is the last day of Political Campaigning ahead of Sundays elections. Saturday is a day of reflection and so no campaigning is allowed. 

I am quite pleased at how our campaign has gone (only 3 houses where people were at home but refused to answer the door or maybe did not hear!). We (PSOE) have concentrated on a positive campaign and  have not, as some of our opponents have done, insulted and criticised our opponents ( I have spies in many camps who report the kind of things some have been saying about me and others but hey ho I guess that is some peoples way of dealing with politics). Instead we have talked with the electorate about the issues that face us and our plans to bring a speedy resolution to them. I got the impression that most understood where we were coming from and agreed with our stance.

I do have to highlight the below picture. One of the very rare benefits of being on the council (none of which is financial) is the opportunity to savour the home baking of Maribel in the Town Hall, besides these lovely Magdalenas, she also makes a gorgeous orange cake which I liberally partake of. So vote for me and let me continue to eat cake!!! Now that is not a party political broadcast you will often hear.

Remember vote PSOE.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Our campaign is going quite well. I have now spent 5 days going door to door and so far only a couple of people have told me to get lost. I take that as a good response!

All my colleagues have been doing the same and it looks like we should manage to have visited every home (Spanish and English speaking) by the end of Friday. Saturday is called a day of reflection which means no campaigning so I am looking forward to my standard, lazy luxurious Saturday.

If we miss visiting anyone and they have any questions or concerns pleased drop me an email or give me a ring.

As i think I previously mentioned I did not work hard enough at the last election and we missed an extra seat by just 2 votes. So I hope all of you who can vote do so. If you or anyone you know needs a lift on the day please get them to contact me and we will sort out a list.

Thanks for support

Monday, May 18, 2015

Polling Day Procedure

To help any of you who have not previously voted in our local elections, or who like me, have not such good memories, below is the procedure to follow on the day.

1. Attend the school in La Alfoquia or the Town Hall in Zurgena between 0900 and 2000 Sunday 24th May. The river dictates which polling station you go to. If south of the river it is the Pleno room in the Town Hall. If north of the river you go to the school down the road from where the Sunday market stands.

2. Go to the correct room and table to present yourself. This is shown on your voting card, if you received one, but if not do not worry not all eligible voters have received their cards and there will be a poster in the entrance to the polling station showing which room and table to go to. If you need to confirm before the date whether you are eligible to vote you can either call into the TH or send me an email.

3. At the table present your identification preferably your passport or NIE. (whichever has a photo id on) They will then mark you off their list to ensure no one else tries to vote in your name!

4. Go to the polling booth and select one ballot paper from the piles there. If you have a ballot paper in an envelope (which has been given you by the party you want to vote for) you may use that but check it is for the party you want to vote for (e.g. mine is PSOE)

5. Place your selected Party list into the envelope DO NOT mark it. Seal the envelope and take it to ballot box and place it in the box.

Thats it done.

I hope as many of you as possible vote in this election and I hope you will support the party on whose list my name appears e.g. PSOE. We carry 32% of the eligible votes in the town and that equates to almost 4 seats. 


Well all our team are active now in trying to visit every home Spanish and British to explain what we are trying to achieve in the upcoming election.

I am grateful for the tremendous support I have had so far in my first 3 days of canvassing. It is good to know that so many people are taking an active interest in the politics of our community.

If by Thursday evening I have not visited your home and you have any questions or concerns please email me as I will try and do a catch up. . Also if anyone needs help to get to the polling station on the day let me know and I will arrange transport.

I will publish a simple step by step guide for what to do in the polling booth nearer to the day.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bowling Training Days

I have the offer of training days for people wanting to learn how to bowl and use our new bowling green.

Colin Rowling who was here on our open day has agreed to take training sessions from 1000 to 1300 each Monday and Wednesday from Monday 25th May. To help us manage that could you please email me ( if you want to take advantage of this offer and we can then manage the numbers better.

Remember. We have the equipment you only need to wear flat soft soled non-ribbed shoes.

Our PSOE Manifesto for 2015

Please find below a link to our manifesto for the upcoming elections.

I thank you all for your contributions almost all of which have been incorporated in this document and with your support we can make reality after this election. Thanks again.

To view just click on the link. Any problems let me know.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Busy Busy

At the moment it is just a succession of meetings. Tonights was to stuff over 2000 envelopes with our list of names. We are a bit behind the curve due to some bureaucratic issues but catching up now.

I was asked if I thought that the expats would like another meeting and I suggested that it would be better if we just concentrated on door to door talking to people to explain our plans and this was agreed. Hope you agree. So over the next week or so I will try and visit everyone and try and explain, if they want, what we want to achieve.

The Political meeting which was scheduled for tomorrow night in La Alfoquia is postponed until next Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ex Pat Presentation Meeting Renfe

We held our presentation evening to th ex pat community this evening in the Renfe. The numbers were a little disappointing compared with the Spanish turnout the night before!

I think we got a good explanation about the way forward for our PGOU and an understanding of the more influential people who are going to support us, should we get sufficient seats.

Thanks to those who attended the vast majority of whom agreed that the meeting had been very informative and helpful and that they will spread the word for us.

I will be starting my door to door canvassing tomorrow, so if you see a strange man outside your house please do not throw water over him!!

My Reasons for Changing Parties

I can now repost this information (first posted over a week ago) as all bureaucratic processes have now been complete.

First of all, an apology to my wife and friends. I had told them that at the next election I would not stand for re-selection and retire from politics. BUT!

Over the past few weeks there have been many meetings going on, within the party I have represented for the past 8 years, (Partido Andalucista, PA) and the Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE).

During the period 2007 to 2015 the PSOE party adopted a different view to our planning actions than we thought was appropriate.  As a consequence we have had a constant battle in the courts. Candido has considered his position and, I think, felt that his name, despite his innocence, attracted negative feelings, so he has been looking for a way forward for Zurgena.

Many of you may be confused by the fact that my name is now on a PSOE list given how for the past 8 years I have been criticising their actions. Below is my explanation.

The PSOE party are undergoing a metamorphosis and becoming a party with a more pragmatic attitude towards the property situation. This is evidenced by the work on the LOUA  and as a result, of the above mentioned meetings, a new list of independent persons has been created under the PSOE name. A good list with very broad representation of people in the municipality and I believe a better group of people to take things forward. 

I have agreed to stand under the banner of PSOE because I believe that this is by far the best way to guarantee our PGOU gets swift approval. That is now a better possibility, due to the success of the PSOE in the recent Andalusian elections. It is now a party which can propose and make solutions to our PGOU and problems.

I have also been convinced that the PSOE, as a political body, is changing and the old guard is being replaced with more progressive people and this is also something to be appreciated and factored in.

I hope that you will all agree that this is a fantastic opportunity for us as citizens of Zurgena to put in place a team of people all of whom, I can personally verify, are totally committed to the municipality and will work for the benefit of all of the residents. It is perhaps the most important election in the past 12 years and I hope you will support us.

I will hope to get the chance to enlarge upon this explanation at the meeting this evening in the Renfe at 6.0pm and hop as many a possible can make it.

PSOE List of the candidates for the local elections to beheld Sunday 24th May 2015;

No 1 Luis Diaz GARCIA (current mayor)
No 2 Dolores Garcia CANO (otherwise known to most as ¨Lola Antas¨¨ Candidos´wife)
No 3 Myself (included at this high number, despite saying I would be happy at 8 or lower! The others felt that it was important to have my name higher up the list to show the importance (not my importance) they attached to the expat community. 
No 4 Noelia Garcia JIMENEZ (currently a very hard working councillor for culture and sport)
No 5 Francisco Martinez RAMOS (currently and the past 8 years an active member of P.A.)
No 6 Manolo Menchon MENCHON (for the past four years an active supporter of PA)
No 7 Francisco Lopez BELMONTE (a well respected local man who has been active in politics)
No 8 Gina Ramos EGEA (a well respected and well liked young lady who has the support of many young people)
No 9 No 11 Michael Foulkes, who has supported me and the PA during the last 4 years of administration and well known to the residents of the pool bar area where he acts as the defacto postman.
No 10 Fabiana Lorente TORREGROSA (another well liked and respected local lady who works in assisting the elderly)
No 11 Antonio Jesus Bonillo MARTOS (also known as Nono a young man active in the village band who can help communicate with the youth of the villages))

Presentation of Candidates of PSOE

Last evening the presentation of the candidates of PSOE standing for election for May 24th was conducted in  the Theatre in Zurgena.
The turnout was excellent with all seats filled and about another 40 to 50 standing!
You can see the excellent turnout from the photos below. I do hope we can equal the Spanish turnout at our meeting this evening in the Renfe at 6.0pm

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bowling Open Day

The first day of the new Bowling Green at La Alfoquia was a great success.

Almost 150 people attended the event from across the region and four differing Bowling Clubs attended. Coaching was provided through Ruth Compton by a number of well respected coaches. New players from the locality took taster sessions form these coaches and it is hoped that regular training events will be held in the weeks ahead. 

Food and drink was provided by the Town Hall of Zurgena and the day seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended. There were one or two little hiccups but these were smoothed out and both the competitors and the learners were able to fully participate in the day.

The TH has asked that people be informed that the green whilst nowhere near finished (due to tiling, toilets, lighting and many other installations yet to be made) people may bowl on the green for free. The keys are available either from me, from Enrique in the Pool bar (to the far of the green) or the Town Hall.

I will post details of the training dates when sorted.

Change of Time tonight

The presentation of the candidates for PSOE tonight is to be at 8.0pm NOT 9.0pm as originally stated.

Tomorrow nights meeting for english speakers is 6.0pm and still at La Renfe.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Most Important Meeting for Ex Pats

I understand that there are many people discussing my position in the upcoming local election. Firstly let me say that no one outside of a few politicians knows what is actually going on. Suffice it to say that the decision I have made, to remain in politics for a little longer, has not been made without a lot of heart searching and many discussions and meetings at which, the benefits for all our community outweighed my personal desire to quit. This has always been the only reason I became involved in Spanish politics in the first place!

We are holding our only meeting for english speaking expats this Wednesday evening in the Renfe in La Alfoquia last 6.0pm. I hope to be able to use that opportunity to reveal what I think is a very important piece of information regarding the structure and options for the ex pat communities´in the election on Sunday 24th May.

I hope any, and all of you, who take an interest in our community, can make it to this meeting. A good turnout also reinforces the understanding, by the Spanish Politicians, that we all do take an interest in how our villages are governed.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Presentation of Candidates Change of Date!!!

A quick mention to inform you all the political party, which I am standing with for this election, are presenting their candidates to the public Tuesday evening at the theatre in Zurgena at 2100. If you want to see all the candidates who I am joining then pop along to see them.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bowling Green Open Day

Whilst waiting for approval to publish the update to the last post regarding the elections I can now announce the date for the Grand Bowling Green Open Day!

After 8 years of work, challenges and effort the Town Hall has managed to get the Bowling Green contract completed and intends to hold an open day to launch it.

This will take place on Monday 11th May at 11.0am. That date has been picked as it does not coincide with other bowling clubs competitions etc. However, everyone is welcome and that includes complete novices or those of us who want to know what it is like to play! (like me).

This is a facility which the T.H. decided some years ago to provide, as it was known that many expats enjoy the game. It was funded through a project which promotes sport and exercise in the community and I hope will provide that for many years to come.

For the initial day we have a number of sets of bowls of differing weights for beginners to use and all the necessary equipment will be provided. Food and drink should be provided for those present by the T.H. and there is no cost. So what have you got to lose? Come along and try it out and help us make it a resounding success for the village. The only requirement for clothing is that, if you wish to play, your wear soft soled unribbed shoes and although the experts will be in white any casual clothing will be ok.

If there are sufficient regular players present we will organise a competition. The first ever in the Almanzora Valley!

Anyone wanting more information should contact me by email or mobile as usual at or Mob 661147554.