My email

My email

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.


Update 10th July.

This week we have had a number of meetings.

On Wednesday morning I had my first meeting with the Police Officers of our towns and it went really well. We have a number of ideas for the future and we will work on these together. They are all supportive of developing good practices for the future. We have another meeting arrange for 2 weeks time.

One of our discussion points was to agree to develop an emergency plan for our community and also to put in place a Civil Protection unit. So we will work on that over the coming weeks and months.

In order for me to understand better the current working practices of the Polizia Local I am going to spend time with them

Wednesday evening we had a 3 hour meeting reviewing the position regarding our budgets for this year (2015) and our financial position is quite good.

Today we had a Plenary meeting to approve contracts for the street lights amongst other points.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Contact Details

Please note that from today I will be using a new phone and email address for all things to do with the Town Hall.

My mobile number is now 610194260

My email address is now

Also Jose Manuel (our  Spanish teacher) owns a 3 year old Sharpei dog, which, he tells me is a very well behaved and house trained but, due to his new commitments, he feels guilty, as he has to leave it at home a lot and has asked if I can ask around to see if anyone is interested in giving it a more attentive and loving home.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spanish Class Start Delay

Just heard from Jose that his brother has made a surprise visit to Spain and he will want to spend some time with him during this coming week. This will have a knock on effect on the start date for the classes.

We will discuss in the morning and contact everyone who has registered by email and or phone tomorrow to confirm start dates and times.

Sorry for the hiccup. I have tried to contact all by email but I am not sure I have all the email addresses at home.

I do have to add my thanks to Anne Cottis-Karlstrom who has lent us the use of her portable air conditioning unit which will help maintain a better temperature in the hall. I have checked that it is working and put it in the hall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Spanish Classes

Jose Manuel (on the extreme right) opened the registration and admin for the new Spanish Classes to be held in the village hall in Los Llanos Del Peral.

A good number have signed put and I hope they all benefit from them.