My email jiminysimpson@gmail.com

My email jiminysimpson@gmail.com

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Holidays

Just finished work today for the holidays. I feel ready for a break especially when the Pleno meeting last night went on from 8.0pm until 11.30pm!!!

I am off until the 3rd January but will monitor my emails and if you have anything urgent please contact Jose Manuel on 687531499. I have also passed all my outstanding issues to him to monitor on my behalf.

Christmas wishes to all and hopes for a speedy resolution of our PGOU in 2017!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Post Storm & Mr Tims-Stekelbos

As you are probably aware the recent storm has led to another round of issues which require attention.

Firstly the Town Hall staff worked throughout the weekend to try and minimise the problems for residents. They were out day and night in the teeth of the storm. Councillors and our Mayor were out monitoring the situation throughout.

There are a large number of areas where the street lighting has got knocked out and the electrician is working his way around to checking all of them.

We have a number of other areas with more serious problems and we are prioritising what we can do and liaising with the regional authorities to try and get the help we need.

Lastly does anyone know a Mrs Tims-Stekelbos. She did a few years ago live in Avenida Europa 41 but no longer does. The current occupant has two important letters regarding pension and bank. If you know this woman please pass on the message or let me know.




Friday, December 16, 2016

Severe Weather Warning and Padron

The Spanish Weather Authority have issued an Orange alert for severe weather for a 48 hour period from 0800 today. It is for excessive rainfall with over 80mm expected to fall in any 12 hour period.

The Town Hall staff are working on plans for the security of the citizens.

Secondly and as importantly our numbers on the Padron have dropped below 3,000 and if that remains we lose quite a bit of money. If you are or you know someone living in our municipality (renting or new owner) who is not on the Padron please ask them to call in and register. All they need to do is to produce their passport or NIE and a copy of their rental agreement or purchase contract and we can then register them. Remember it is also important for the individual to be registered in order that they can do many things here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Time

As the Christmas season approaches we are enjoying many seasonal events. The Christmas market in the Renfe was great success on Sunday.

The church in Los Llanos del Peral is holding its annual Christmas carol service on the evening of the Monday 19th December at 6.0pm followed by mulled wine and mince pies. All are welcome. This is usually a well attended event.

Below are pictures of the churches 23 Christmas bags of food and surprises for the poor of the villages which the Town Hall will dispense during the coming week.



Also below are pictures of our Town Halls Nativity Scene (Belen) is now open to the Public and it is fantastic. If you are passing the Town Hall during the next few weeks pop in and go into the Pleno room (straight ahead as you enter the front office) and have a look. It is more impressive than many much bigger Town Halls.






Lastly thanks to Susan Ramsey (our brave lady from Los Carasoles) who made a gift of a wonderful wall hanging Christmas Tree which will hang in the Town Hall for many years. It is also on display in the main Town Hall reception area. Susan does make and sell them if you are interested please email me.


And if you have not done so yet please consider downloading the Mobile Phone Application ´Living Zurgena´ as this is the medium by which we can most easily transmit information. The application is available for all operating systems whether on iOS or Android. We have a small problem with the push notifications at the moment but the engineers are happy they will resolve that soon.



Friday, December 9, 2016

Winner Ruta de Tapas

The winner of the Ruta de Tapas de Zurgena 2016 was the Restaurant Kalevala. Congratulations to Ana and Sampo.

The winning completed Ruta de tapas passport was won by John and Lesley Booth of Cucador Norte.

We thought the event went very well and we will probably repeat it next year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Market

This coming Sunday 11th December the annual Spanish Christmas market is to be held in the Renfe building staring at 12 noon until 7.0pm.

Many local businesses will be represented and there are craft and artesian stalls with a variety of goods on sale.

For the children there will be face painting, trampolines, archery, artistic workshop, bouncy castle etc Competition for best Christmas costume. Papa Noel will make an appearance about 5.0pm.

There will also be a variety of activities for adults including relaxation techniques and a fashion show (which we are still looking for models for if you fancy it!)

There will also be free hot chestnuts.

Timetable
1200 Inauguration and free activities such as pedal cars, archery, trampoloine and bouncy castle.
1230 to 2.0pm Face Painting and Christmas cards designing.
1.0pm Fashion show for men and women.
1600 Storytelling with free roasted chestnuts (free)
1700 Papa Noel (Santa Claus)
1800 Raffle with prizes from local businesses.


It should be a great afternoon so if you are free come along and support your local market.



Monday, December 5, 2016

Holidays this week

This week the Town Hall and banks will be closed tomorrow Tuesday 6th December (Constitution Day) and Thursday 8th December (Immaculate Conception).

Friday, December 2, 2016

Galasa Update

As many of you are aware there has been great uncertainty, regarding what was going to happen with Galasa, which has debts of 40 million euros. It was expected to go into bankruptcy on the 1st December.

However, following lengthy and protracted negotiations a plan has been agreed between all the political parties which, amongst other agreements, will ensure the continued supply to over 60,000 users and the employment of the existing workforce. 

There will be an adjustment of the monthly invoices but much less than was originally being sought. It should be in the region of 18% but we need to understand that no increases in the water tariff has occurred for some years. 

The Diputacion has committed to a multi annual investment of five million euros towards the repair and improvement of the existing water infrastructure.


A committee has also been established in which all political parties will participate and meet every 3 months with the remit of evaluating and improving the performance of the company.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Galasa

As many of you are aware there has been great uncertainty, regarding what was going to happen with Galasa, which has debts of 40 million euros. It was expected to go into bankruptcy tomorrow. However, following lengthy and protracted negotiations it seems a plan has been agreed between PSOE and PP  to save the company.
There will be a price rise but much less than was originally suggested.
The company was due to be declared bankrupt tomorrow December 1, but a last minute plan by the PP and PSOE has been agreed to save the bankrupt company.
I understand that a committee has been created to oversee the company and to manage the situation with regard to leaks etc.
Further details will be forthcoming tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Xmas Market

A Xmas market for Sunday 11th December in the Renfe is being arranged.

The assisting councillor has asked that I see if any British, or english speaking, residents would like to have a stand or stall at this event. If you have a craft or other type stall that would suit a Xmas market please get in touch. The stand will be free but they may want a small deposit to ensure attendance. I have  also been asked me if I know of anyone who wants to be Santa for the day. Also if any choirs would like to attend and sing to the visitors that would be good.

This market has been successful in the past and I am sure it will be again.

For any more details please just drop me an email or give me a call.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Bravery Presentation

Today was the United Nations Day Against Gender Violence and we celebrated it with an event on the Pleno room of the Town Hall at which all the choildren from Zurgena primary school attended. They displayed their art work on this theme and sang us a lovely song.

As part of the day the Town Hall of Zurgena was able to make a presentation of a Bravery plaque to a British resident. It had been a closely guarded secret and the recipient only found out at the time.

Susan Ramsey who hails from Stockport in the UK set off from her home in Los Carasoles, one Tuesday evening in late September, to attend her Spanish classes. The sight that greeted her, as she rounded a bend in the country track she as on, was a frightening one. In front of her a younger man armed with knives was violently attacking an elderly lady. Susan stopped her car got out and immediately and without thought for her own safety put herself between the attacker and the victim. She assisted in disarming the man and protecting the woman from further harm. Possibly even preventing a murder.

The Town Hall was pleased to be able to present Susan with a specially commissioned plaque for her bravery which was presented to her by myself and the Mayor Luis Diaz Gacia and Deputy Mayor Lola Antas.

Sad Loss

Just to inform all that Juanjo (our front desk clerk in the Town Hall) lost his mother yesterday. 

Meeting with President of Mancomunidad de Levante

Through the assistance of our Mayor Luis David Garcia I had an excellently supportive meeting with the mayor of Huercal Overa in his capacity as President of the Mancomunidad de Levante regarding the assistance we hope to garner from politicians in Spain with a view to the protection of our existing rights during Brexit negotiations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2017 Budget

I am currently calculating things to try and include for my budget for 2017. I need to have my presentations ready by the end of the year.

Obviously there are many projects for roads and infrastructure that come under other councillors remits. Mine cover the Police, integration, the english speaking community, the 3rd Age, and certain social sports activities.

In order to plan better for next year Lola and I are trying to cooperate in calculating what we would like in these budgets and we are trying to compile a calendar of events which may need a financial consideration. If anyone has any ideas that they would like us to consider please let me know. We do intend to hold days similar to those from this year regarding culture and food and also to do some trips but to ensure everyone has a chance please forward any suggestions by the end of November.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NHW AGM

The Annual General Meeting for the NHW scheme of Zurgena will hold their AGM in the Theatre in Zurgena at 5.0pm tomorrow Wednesday 23rd November. It should last no longer than 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ruta de Tapas

Our very own Ruta de Tapas starts on Friday 18th November and runs over this weekend and the next weekend each Friday Saturday and Sunday. There are a total of 10 bars taking part across the municipality and I personally think it will be good fun (and interesting to taste the differing tapas) and get round all 10 bars and get an endorsing stamp from each so that you can be entered into the draw for a prize.

The cards, which you need to take round all the bars, will be available from tomorrow afternoon. I will ensure that there is a supply in as many locations as possible but we are still waiting them being complete by the printers.

The price of each tapa and cana is €2.20

The bars taking part are as follows

El Parque, Bar La Union, Bar Catalan, Bar La Piscina, Kalevala, Bar La Vida, Marilyn Bar, El Local D Maria, Bar Almeria, Bar Pepe.

Magic Show in Theatre

This Saturday at 8.0pm there is to be a magic show in the Theatre of Zurgena. It is free of charge and will be worth a visit particularly if you have kids.

Regarding the Brexit issue. Our group, who established the Europats organisation with the website www.eupats.com,  is growing well and we now have over 1,000 email supporters and this equates to over 4,000 supporters across Europe. We continue to work to establish contacts within government in the UK Spain and Brussels with a view to identifying persons of influence who can assist us in trying to protect our existing rights.

Our latest efforts have involved the Sub Delegation of the Spanish Government in Almeria who received us very well and agreed to help and support us. We are working with the Minister for the Constitution in the UK and through a third party are seeking clarification about how HM Government will ensue our voting rights are protected (and in fact enhanced with the deletion of the 15 year time rule). We are also working to present our case to other politicians in various areas and other Mancomunidads. To keep abreast of these activities please register your support at the website. www.eupats.com

Monday, November 14, 2016

Water

Many of you will have awakened to no water this morning (as did I).

Galasa have informed us that there is a major breakage in the main pipe supplying parts of La Alfoquia and Cucador. The pipe that has broken is 25 years old and will need a major repair which will take time.

They (Galasa) are working on getting a provisional supply pipe working by noon or 1.0pm today (Monday).

This is the first time we have had occasion to use the notification part of the Mobile Phone application called, Living Zurgena, as a way to ensure our citizens get quick notification of incidents affecting our villages and I hope that you all find it beneficial to have this direct communication.

Those of you who have downloaded the app should have had an audible warning of the message and automatically opened the app to obtain the information. This will be of particular value in our (Town Hall) being able to update you all in the event of such incidents..

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Calling All Petanque Players and Xmas Choristers

There is to be a Petanque tournament in La Alfoquia on the ground opposite the school this Sunday  13th November at 10.0am. Entrance fee is free.

There are some very nice prizes to be won. If you are a Petanque player or are interested in taking part please let me know.

The Town Hall of Zurgena is interested to know if any of the choral groups wish to play a part in the Xmas celebrations in the village. If you or your group would be interested please get in touch.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Route of Tapas (Ruta de Tapas) & Civil Protection Course & Women's Association.

Not to be outdone by our bigger and brasher towns and villages the Town Hall of Zurgena is pleased to announce that we will also be holding a Route of Tapas. This event will take place on the 18th, 19th, 20th,25th, 26th and 27th November. A full list of the 10 locations will be published later this week.

Cards will be available from this weekend and if you visit all 10 premises over the period you will be entered in a competition for a holiday break.


In relation to Civil Protection I am aware that we only a couple of english speakers in our Civil Protection team (to whom I am most grateful) but I need to know if in addition to these two ladies anyone else is interested. We are trying to plan a course for such individuals. This course will just be for one day but will cover all legal aspects and include training in CPR traffic etc etc. 
If you are interested please let me know as soon as you can.

A womens association (Associacion de Espàrto) are presenting a talk at 11.0am until 12 noon on equality and respect. If any english speakers wish to attend please let me know and we will organise to have an interpreter in attendance.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tanatorio & Book Writing

Firstly we can announce after years of wrangling and difficulties the opening of our own Tanatorio situated between Zurgena and Palaces on the A 7106. We have had so many problems completing this work that it is a great relief to finally see it opening as a facility for our community.

To recognise the opening there will be an inauguration event at which all resident are invited and cocktails will be available on arrival. This event will be at 6.0pm Friday 4th November.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the company website at www.tanatoriocuravalrea.es/zurgena.html

Secondly at the Intercultural Day I presented a book written by local lady. This individual is willing and keen to help others write short stories or articles for inclusion in any future book. If this appeals to you please contact me and I will put her in touch. Having read the book it is an interesting and eclectic mix of Spanish and English personal stories.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Todays Intercultural Seniors Day

Just a few photograph from todays excellent event.

My thanks to the amazing amount of fantastic dishes, both savoury and sweet, that all the people from both communities brought. Some of the best of both English and Spanish cuisine.

The presentation from Isabela of the history of Zurgena had some fascinating facts I was unaware of. The following 3 from english speakers covered Scotland, Cornwall (Beryl Booth) and Devon (Mike Yendell). We had our own Pearly King and Queen Jon and Josette Arrowsmith) Then we had presentations from a Spanish gentleman, Jose Anthonio, who was from Bilbao and showed off his local game of throwing coins into a frogs mouth (which I could not do!). This was followed by a personal history story of the family who had strong Argentinian and Spanish connections and she relayed her personal story of her families movements between the two countries. Which explained for me anyway the connections between Spain and Argentina.  This presentation was followed by a surprise magic act by the husband of the lady presenting. He was excellent as well.

Then the 70+ people who were there (and it was quite an even split in numbers maybe just slightly more Spanish) sat down to enjoyed each others´ countries traditional dishes. I could not count them there were so many. There was just about every dish you can imagine and I can say I did not need an evening meal.

My thanks to everyone who attended and especially those who presented and all those in the Town Hall who worked on it.

I personally think these events are very very important in helping our communities integrate and I believe those who were there today experienced that and agreed that it was an event we should try and repeat.








Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Friday Morning Seniors Day

I suddenly feel inadequate (no need to agree!) but discussing the food that will be available at the Seniors ´Know your Village´ meeting on Friday at 10.0am I have discovered that the local Spanish people are preparing quite a number of local dishes for us to taste. Whereas on our part we have only got Cornish Pasties, Haggis  and Scones!

If any of you wish to come along and enjoy the morning please try and bring a taste of something from your home area for the people to try. No need to bring lots.

If you intend doing so please let me know as we are trying to cater for the numbers accurately. Lola is organising drinks such as tea and coffee. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Spanish Officers Homestay

A friend of mine (Andrew Mortimer) runs a Language School for Spanish Army officers learning English and part of their courses include a weekend stay with an english speaking family in order that the students may more intensely learn the english language.

Andy has 18 students which he is seeking homestay hosts for for the period Friday 4th November until the afternoon of Sunday 6th November. The students will be in class from 0900 until 1330 each day but will stay with the most family the rest of the time. He is considering basing some of these students in Zurgena and is looking for families willing to provide a room and home for these students. Expenses are available.

I am just posting this to see if there are sufficient volunteer hosts to accommodate them in Zurgena. If you require further details just let me know. If interested please email or ring.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Almeria Umbrella

I have fed back to all involved your thanks and appreciation regarding the trip to Almeria yesterday. Glad you all enjoyed it, although for some the walking was quite tough.

Found on the bus after the trip was an black umbrella. If you have lost one please get in touch I have it in my office drawer.

For your information Piki Autobuses (who we use for all our trips) have an interesting coach trip to Portugal leaving on the 4th December . The trip is for 6 days with 5 nights  accommodation in a 4 star hotel with full board, accompanying bilingual guide. The tour visits Batalha, Alcobaca, Leiria, Lisbon, Sintra, Nazare, Tomar, Coimbra and Fatima. With a number of attractions included. Fuller details on a poster in the Town Hall total cost per person is €289. For reservations call Anthonio (who was the driver yesterday) on 671077000. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Display of Flood Photos & Calle Francia & School

There will be a display of photographs from the 1997 flood in the Pleno room of the Town Hall tomorrow and those going on the trip to Almeria will be stopping off shortly for a view of these and a minutes silence. The photos will be viewable during the rest of the day.

Regarding the overgrown bushes on Calle Francia, the occupant is currently in hospital. He has been told to get them cut and he has agreed to do so as soon as he is out and recovered. We will keep on his case until he does it.

Yesterday we had a visit from 2 Andalucian Parliamentarians, the Director of Education for Almeria and Delegates from the Junta to our school in Zurgena. They have a agreed a €300,000 improvement scheme for the school which will greatly improve the facilities.




Monday, October 17, 2016

Almeria Bus Times

Just to confirm that the bus pick up times for the trip to Almeria this Thursday are 0815 at the Petrol Station in La Alfoquia and 0820 at the Pharmacy in Zurgena. The bus will stop for breakfast nearer in Almeria but you will 

A reminder of the Intercultural Day to be held in the Renfe building 10.0am Friday 28th October. The programme is as follows, 1000 welcome. 1100 Coffee. 11.30 Talk by the participants about their culture and history. 1400 Aperitives y Dishes typical of the participants. It looks like we will have 3 expats presenting short presentations on their cultural/culinary roots. 
As this presentation is to be to the Spanish and the English speaking residents it will be presented bilingually but I see it as a great opportunity to share with our Spanish neighbours something of our backgrounds.

As we are providing some food I need to know the numbers of people who are going to attend. So if you fancy coming along please let me know in advance so we can cater. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Seniors International Festival Almeria Province and Walks

Throughout the month of October the Seniors International Festival is being held in various locations across the province.

The activities being promoted are as follows, Chess, Athletics, Dance, Darts, Dominoes, Oenology (the study of wine) Esperanto, Photography Gastronomy, Golf, Petanque, Walking, Tennis, Archery and Yoga. The locations for these activities are various and the prices (although many are free) range from €10 for the darts through to €370 for the wine study course.  There are a number of other events in Almeria city.

If anyone is interested in attending any of these activities please contact me for me for more full details. These are also available on the website www.seniorsfestival.org

As many of you know the Diputacion organise walks throughout the year and the full programme of them is available at http://rutasysenderosdealmeria.es  The next one in our area is on 6th November at Sufli just up the valley from us. For this event they have arranged tapas, migas, copas and dance. To take part visit the above website and register. Any problems give me a call.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Meeting in Vera and Proposed Intercultural day 28th October

This evening I attended a meeting to discuss the possibility of bringing all Spanish national documentation processes from Almeria up to Vera. The Mayors of a number of other local towns attended and all agreed it was a good idea. So we will all be starting the ball rolling to hopefully by next year have a local facility to handle all national documentation in Vera.

The second benefit from the meeting was in making contact with more politicians who are interested in helping with our concerns re Brexit. I have planned some follow up meetings with some of these politicians, in particular the Mayor of Huercal Overa who is the current President of the Mancomunidad for that area of Almeria.

A reminder of the Intercultural Day to be held in the Renfe building 10.0am Friday 28th October. The programme is as follows, 1000 welcome. 1100 Coffee. 11.30 Talk by the participants about their culture and history. 1400 Aperitives y Dishes typical of the participants. We are still seeking  bit of clarity but at this moment a few of you have volunteered to do something from their areas in the UK which will be good. If I am allowed I will do a little bit on Scotland (with a typical dish from there!)

As this presentation is to be to the Spanish and the English speaking residents it will be presented bilingually but I see it as a great opportunity to share with our Spanish neighbours something of our backgrounds.

As we are providing some food I need to know the numbers of people who are going to attend. So if you fancy coming along please let me know in advance so we can cater. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dance of Life

Another Activity to enhance your quality of life is the Dance of Life. See poster below.
If interested please register in the Town Hall or give me a call.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Missing David Oldman

You may recall the British gentlemen who went missing in June on a walk from Huercal Overa to Albox. David Oldman 66 years.

His decomposed body was found near La Concepcion this morning by some hunters in a very out of the way spot. The Guardia Civil have opened an investigation but I understand that at this moment it is being treated as an unexplained death.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Charitable Theatre Group, Comedy play & Food Donations & Xmas Trip (not TH)

A new comedy play ´Kindly Keep it Covered´ set in the ´Well Fit Health Spa´ is being presented by the Charitable Theatre Group in Zurgena Theatre on the weekend of Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October. The play is in two acts and entrance is €6 with an interval bar and raffle with all proceeds going to a local charity. Performances are at 7.30pm. Tickets available from the usual outlets including CATS Services in La Alfoquia. From my experience this groups plays are very enjoyable.

We have cancelled the Country Fun day due to lack of interest.

Once again we have to thank the Church members from Los Llanos for a further 16 bags full of food for the poor and needy in our villages. These will be distributed over the next few days.



I have been approached by a commercial company who organise trips and they have asked me to advertise their Xmas trip on here. The trip is from 23rd to 27th December with pick up from Zurgena. Stay at the 4* Marina Hotel in Benidorm full board and including Special Gala, Lunch Xmas day.
The total cost is €279. For further details call 950627019 or email rosie@viajescemo.com




Friday, September 30, 2016

Brexit and Mancomunidad

Those of you who are supporters of the website www.eupats.com will have been aware of an upcoming meeting of the Mancomunidad de Almanzora at which we (Andrew Mortimer, Lenox Napier and I) were to do presentation to garner their support (all 21 Mayors).


That meeting was held today in Zurgena Town Hall and was a great and positive success. We will be circulating more details when the press release is completed but suffice it to say my colleagues at Europats and I were delighted with the reception to our presentation.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Los Llanos del Peral Pozo

In an effort to assist the residents of the area of Los Llanos del Peral (where their waste is going into the pozo to the east of Avenida Poetas)  I have arranged to hold a meeting so that all those affected can hear the options available and the likely costs. I appreciate that this is not a Town Hall issue but one where we need to provide help to the residents to reach some sort of way forward.

We will hold a meeting in the village hall at Los Llanos Del Peral at 12 noon on Wednesday 5th October. I will bring our councillor for Public Works along with me and we can discuss the problem. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Spanish Classes

We are going to try with the free Spanish Beginners classes again with Jose Manuel in the church hall at Los Llanos del Peral starting from Tuesday 4th October at 0915am. If there is sufficient interest he will continue with them as long as they are wanted but, if insufficient numbers, it may be uneconomic. I will leave it to Jose to determine if there are sufficient numbers.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Almeria Trip

I now have confirmation of the next trip which is organised by the Town Hall on behalf of the Diputacion.

It is on Thursday 20th October and leaves Zurgena at 0845 arriving Almeria at 1000. At 1030 the tour visits the Alcazaba and at 1230 the Refugios (which, for those who do not know, are the underground installations used by the residents of Almeria during the bombing in the Civil War). At 2.0pm lunch is taken and at 4.0pm a visit to the Historical Houses before returning to Zurgena at 6.0pm. The price is €12 per person. There are limited places so if this trip interest you please let me or the Town Hall know together with your NIE number asap. Lunch not included

Bad News - Los Llanos del Peral Communal Pozo Update

Following an inspection it appears that the ground around this pozo is saturated and the only course to remedy this situation being suggested is the installation of another pozo. The Councillor for Public Works can obtain a quote for that or the residents can if they wish.

Our application for the funding (a total of €80,000) to install a connection from this area to the main sewerage pipe has been turned down for this year. The reason the Junta gave for turning it down was they said that this was creating a new urban area. We did argue with them as we maintain it is not a new area, and it is included in our PGOU but they are adamant.

UPDATE

Sorry. To clarify I made the mistake of thinking that once our application had been submitted and accepted by the Diputacion that it was approved, but, when the official response comeback they had refused 3 out of our 9 applications, including the one.

Some of the residents have suggested that our assessment of the problem may still be faulty and that they wish to ensure that they have all the correct facts and are considering commissioning an expert to look at the problem. We are happy to support whatever course of action the residents wish to take and will help where we can.


Jose´s Spanish Classes

We are wondering whether it is worthwhile recommencing the Spanish Language classes at Los Llanos Del Peral village hall like we did last year.

These would be for one hour duration Monday and Tuesday morning at 0915. If we have sufficient interest we will restart them. Just let me know.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Meeting & Possible Fun Day

Last night we held a lengthy meeting (8.0pm until 10.40pm) discussing amongst other things our application within the Provincial plans and those we were successful in and those we had had rejected.  Out of 9 we had applied for  6 were approved and 3 rejected. Our Councillor for Public Works is going to return to Almeria to see if he can convince them to approve more. I will post once we have confirmation of what has been successful.

One a lighter note;

A FUN DAY WITH A DIFFERENCE. 

HAVE YOU EVER FANCIED YOURSELF AS A BULLFIGHTER? NOW DON´T SWITCH OFF AT THIS STAGE - BEAR WITH! 

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ACTIVITIES WITH ANIMALS WHICH ARE NOT CRUEL OR HARMFUL AND THE PROPOSED ACTIVITY IS ONE SUCH. I HAVE PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED SOMETHING SIMILAR IN HUERCAL OVERA, WHERE ACROBATS JUMPED OVER FULL GROWN BULLS, BUT THIS IS NOT QUITE THAT EXCITING!  

THE IDEA IS THAT WE GO BY COACH (PICK UPS IN LOCAL AREAS from 1200) THE SHORT DISTANCE TO SANTOPETAR WHERE THERE IS A SMALL BULLRING. THERE, THOSE WHO WISH TO, CAN TAKE TURNS AT ENTERING THE BULLRING AND DODGING THE CALVES LIKE A REAL BULLFIGHTER. THE CALVES ARE NOT HARMED OR TIRED IN ANY WAY. THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES TO CAPTURE YOUR HUSBAND, WIFE OR FRIEND SHOWING HIS OR HER PROWESS! 

PAELLA, JAMON, CHEESES ETC WILL BE PROVIDED AND A FREE BAR WILL BE OPEN FOR THE DURATION. 

THE DAY WOULD END ABOUT 6.0PM THE COST OF THE BUS, FOOD, DRINK AND FUN IS €30 OR LESS. BEFORE WE CONFIRM THE EVENT WE NEED TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE SUFFICIENT INTEREST. SO IF THIS INTERESTS YOU PLEASE LET US KNOW BEFORE 30TH SEPTEMBER EITHER 

CALL 610194260 OR EMAIL JIMSZURGENA@GMAIL.COM

Monday, September 19, 2016

Harmony Community Fair and Show

Harmony Community Fair & Show will take place on Saturday 22nd October 2016 at the Renfe Complex in La Alfoquia.We will be open to the public from 11.30 until 16.30 with plenty to appeal to everyone.

Lots of classes to enter including vegetables, floristry, baking, needle and papercraft plus children's classes too! Doors are open for entrants at 8.00 and judging will take place at 10.30. Entry forms are available from:

C.A.T. Services - La Alforquia
Total Entertainment - Albox and Arboleas
Tel: 627 635 514  

Plenty to see and do throughout the day with Live Music performances organised by Dave Sharp,Quilt Exhibition, Dog Show, Line dancing, Amigos Classic car Club, Bar, Hog Roast, Revels Eatery, Ice-Cream Van, many Craft Stalls, Games, Raffles, Tombola's plus the Show.

ALL MONIES RAISED WILL GO TO HARMONY COMMUNITY SUPPORT.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inter Culture and Culinary Day 14th October

We have an idea to hold an inter cultural day probably in the Renfe on Friday the 14th October. This would involve the participants each presenting their home area.

One of the ideas put forward was for any residents, who wish to assist, to prepare any of the following for presentation; a culinary dish representative of their home area, a Power point presentation about that area, emblematic items from that area and any photographs etc. The idea being to show to the local people things from our localised culture. The Spanish would do the same for us. So helping both communities understand each others roots.

As an example and for my part, being Scottish, I thought I could do a short powerpoint presentation with views and pictures emblematic of Scotland and supply a haggis! This is just an idea at this stage but I think it is one worth trying to get off the ground.

If you agree that this is a good idea and you would like to assist please contact me with any ideas you have.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Drainage Problems and Activities and Events for Autumn

As those of you who live in the following areas are aware there are problems with the drainage systems in Calle Miguel Servet, Los Menchones and the area of Avenida Poetas, Los Llanos del Peral.

The problems are similar in that they both relate to excess waste and its disposal. Yesterday the Councillor for Public Works, the Town Hall foreman and I visited Los Menchones and investigated the reason why sewerage was overflowing from the main street drain. We discovered that unknown to the homeowners at least 3 had systems where any overflow is released into the street drainpipe which is not, as yet, connected to any other pipework. This leads to a build up in waste overflowing into the street. Each home which we could identify as having leakage into the street pipe has been informed (with the exception of 2 which were unoccupied) and they will have their systems cleaned and capped off so that no further leakage can occur. Once this is done the Town Hall will clean the street pipe.

In relation to the pozo which serves the area of Avenida Poetas I have received a number of emails, some quite terse I have to say, but from these emails I am assured that no-one in the area is backwashing their pools into the drain pipes. The Council do not understand what is happening but this Saturday they are going to investigate all the pipework to try and identify where the problem lies. It may, in the end, be that the ground in the area of the existing pozo is saturated and can take no more waste, in which case another one will need to be installed, but until we have investigated it we do not know for sure. The connection of the pipework for this area to the main pipe leading to the big dipuradora has been approved by the Diputacion and should be installed in the next 3 or 4 months. So once we have identified, as best we can, the cause of the problem we will know better which course of action to take. I hope this helps explain what we are trying to do and I do apologise if I caused any upset with the previous post relevant to this issue.

Every Tuesday from 1000 x 1100 Walking Football at the Football Pitch by the pool in La Alfoquia with Ian Hamilton

Every Monday at 1900 in Zurgena Pabellon Badminton.

Every Wednesday from 28th September meeting at 1000 at the pool bar a country walk with Kath Gaskell.

Every Monday and Thursday 1930 x 2030 Mobility Gym at Palaces Village Hall with June.

Every Friday 1030 x 1130 Easy Zumba at La Vida, Cucador  with June

Sunday 2nd October Harvest Festival Church at Los Llanos del Peral

Friday 14th Saturday 15th October at 1900 and Sunday 16th 1500 in Zurgena Theatre a Comedy by the Charitable Theatre Group (tickets obtainable from CATS.  If you know of any other events or want them included (which the above will be in the mobile phone app) just let know.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Activities in Autumn, Spanish Classes in Zurgena, Trip to Almeria

We are trying to update the mobile phone application and other publicity with all the available activities during October ,
November and December.

If you are organising or have arranged any events that you want including in the publicity please let me have details asap.

On another matter the Spanish classes held  by Manolo in the 3rd Age room in Zurgena are due to restart on the 15th September. If you want to register or check whether there is are vacancies his telephone number is  651 09 0728. (just amended it due to being informed that I had the wrong number on)

A date for your diaries is 18th October the TH is in the process of arranging another trip to Almeria and full details will go on the mobile phone app and here when confirmed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Los Llanos del Peral Communal Pozo

We have a serious problem with the communal pozo which serves the area of Avenida Poetas in Los Llanos del Peral.

We are far too frequently having to pay to have it emptied. It should last for at least a year but it was cleaned on the 8th August and was full within a few days.  This can only have occurred by someone putting a huge amount of water into it.  Probably backwashing a pool. This obviously leads to smells and peoples toilets and waste water backing up.

If you, or anyone you know in this area, is doing this please ask them to stop. We will try and have it cleaned again but cannot continually afford to pay for this every month. It is scheduled for comnnection to the mains sewerage pipe but this may be months away yet.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thanks Again to the Church at Los Llanos Del Peral

Once again we have to thank the congregation of the church at Los Llanos del Peral for their generosity.

We have received another 12 large food parcels for the needy of the village and these will be distributed during Zurgena Fiesta week. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waste Disposal

We tried to obtain permission to finance a few skips to receive and dispose of garden and building waste for our own municipality however, we discovered that we were too small to warrant the financial support for that so I am afraid we have to use the only one available which is the one at Arboleas. I was informed that this site was closed but have checked today and although closed on Wednesdays it is open 0900 x 1300 and 1700 x 1900 Monday Tuesday Thursday and Fridays. There is a small charge for builders and garden rubbish but it is very small.

The site has a website at punto limp arboleas


Almeria Trip

There are limited spaces available for a trip to Almeria on the 13th September.

The trip is organised by the Diputacion of Almeria Health department and the first place to visit will be a sports centre where the participants will have a gentle work out. They then go for some lunch before going on a tour of the Alcazaba in the afternoon.

The total cost of the trip including lunch and coach is €10. 

If interested please contact the Town Hall as soon as you can.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Zurgena Fiesta 2016 Programme

Please find below the programme for the Zurgena fiesta.

Friday 26th 

1300 Fair an Bar Pepe and in Park Gines Parra
1830 Bicycle Procession children and adults 
2000 Basketball 3x3
0030 Gala of Queen if the Fiesta and election of the Juvenile and Infant queens, Miss Sympathy Miss Tourism and Mister 2016
0100 Dance Party 

Saturday 27th 

1100 Games for infants below Library
1300 Fair Bar Pepe and Park Gines Parra
1700 Table Tennis tournament under the municipal library 
1800 Foam Party sports area by the rambla
0000 Dance Party with Orchestra and the Duo Azabache

Sunday 28th

1100 Infant workshop under the municipal library
1300 Fair Bar pepe and Park Gines Parra
1900 Horse Parade in the rambla.
0000 Performance by Santi Sanchez and Inhuman Friends
0130 Dance Party 

Monday 29th

1300 Fair Bar Pepe and Park Gines Parra
1800 Giant water slide 
2300 Kalafa Rock music

Tuesday 30th 

1300 Fair Bar Pepe and Park Gines Parra
1800 Cycle Route round Zurgena
Children day with attractions
2300 Performance by traditional Spanish singer Miguel Angel Maldonado
0030 Dance Party by Quartet Tucan

Wednesday 31st

0930 Free Churros with chocolate for the 3rd Age 
1300 Fair Bar Pepe and Park Gines Parra
1830 Procession in honour of our San Ramon Nonnato
0000 Dance Party with Orchestra Kaos 57

0200 Castle of Fire to end the fiesta

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mobile Phone Application Update & Possible Computer Course

The mobile phone application for the town Hall in English is doing very well with an average of 10 new downloads each day. (can be downloaded for Android or Mac in the usual places any problems or if you are unsure please contact me).

We will increase the content over time but due to holidays little has been added lately. Remember there is the function to report issues, and/or forward photos of anything you think we should be aware of, through this medium.

The promotional video is being well received with a total of 1,140 views  so far and with feedback that suggests it is really helping to promote our area. We are not even pushing it yet, as we felt it better to wait until the PGOU is approved, and then really promote it.

I am aware that some people may have limited computer skills which may affect their ability to access some of our content and with this mind I am looking at holding small basic courses in english at the Town Hall to cover the use of the app, the web site and basic computer skills. If this is something you may be interested in please contact me at the usual email address jimszurgena@gmail.com and include what areas you would like some assistance in and we will endeavour to do that.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Sad News and Help

Firstly the sad news that our bi lingual helper in the Town Hall Andreas Bonillo (Andrew) has lost his father today. It was a sudden death but he had had health problems over the past few years.

Secondly a plea for accommodation. Does anyone know of a 2/3 bedroom villa available for rent at around €400 pm. We have family who have young children who need a place to rent fairly urgently. If you know of anywhere please contact me and I will pass the details on. The children go to school in La Alfoquia so it needs to be fairly local.

Kayak and Snorkel

There is limited spaces available on a trip to the Cabo de Gata on 4th September for residents to go for a kayak and snorkelling excursion. The cost is €12 for adults and €10 for children. Each adult has to be accompanied by 1 child.

If interested please reply by email to jimszurgena@gmail.com with your NIE, mobile telephone number and address please.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

San Ramon Nonnato. Zurgena Fiesta week

The Zurgena Fiesta week commences Saturday August 20th.

There is to be a Petanque Tournament at 0900 on Sunday 21st August on the Petanque court in Zurgena with the usual prizes Hams, Cheeses etc. If you are interested please contact the Town Hall or call 658821010.

There is also to be a domino tournament and registrations will be taken at the Bar Pepe or contact us. I have no further details yet regarding this but will post as soon as I find out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back from Holidays

Just returned from an extended holiday in the UK spending time with grandkids. Got home late last night so will be back in the office from tomorrow. Sorry but for obvious reasons I cannot give advance notice of when I am going away on holiday.

I will try and address any outstanding issues as and when but if you think I may have forgotten your issue please remind me.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Correos Problem

I have received this from Mike Foulkes regarding the delivery of mail through he Spanish Correos.

Can you put something on your blog about the correo office. I can't get round
to everybody and with no return address on it's impossible to know where
they come from
.
They have suddenly started NOT POSTING cards and letters which
have insufficient postage on them.

They keep them in the post office for a couple of weeks and heaven knows what
happens to them after that.

People buy stamps from the TABAC and assume that one stamp with the King's
head on it will see it safely through to its destination....NOT CORRECT

People who recently posted letters with one stamp on will be able to go to the correo office in Zurgena
where the cards are sitting and pay the excess to see it safely on its way or risk losing it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Trapeze Show

The Town Hall have announced a Trapeze show in the Plaza del Olmo on the 5th August.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Holiday

As you may have noticed it has gone quiet on here!

I am on holiday for a few weeks but will communicate anything of note. Jose Manuel can deal with most things while I am away.

Regarding the Brexit issue my colleagues and I have continued to work towards establishing a base of supporters to exert pressure on Brussels, Madrid and Westminster to protect our interests. The number of email addresses now tops 600 and bear in mind that each email may represent more than one supporter so we are well on our way. We have issued our first updated circular to all supporters and we are waiting a date for a meeting with the Mancomunidad to progress the Spanish aspect. If you wish to register for updates please visit www.eupats.com and click on the register link. This will ensure that you receive all future communications and please spread the word. The more the better.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mobile Phone Application Launch

The Town Hall of Zurgena is pleased to announce the release of a new english language mobile phone application for smartphones. 
If you have an iPhone or an android you can now download for free a most useful application for residents and visitors to Zurgena.
The application has a number of helpful features and this will be added to in the future.
The application has a page on all the latest news from the Town Hall, a diary of events in the municipality, a directory of places, announcements, photographs of the Town Hall staff and of all the councillors with their roles.
There is a list of local businesses both English and Spanish. There are places to visit or where to go to eat or drink. A list of associations and sports clubs etc.
In addition to these articles there are two outstanding and important features. 
The first of these is an ´Urban Incidents´page. On this page you can report anything you think the Town Hall needs to attend to or be aware of. It is a simple system which allows you to fill out an online form and attach a photo or video and this message is then transmitted to the appropriate councillor.
The second important feature of the application is a push notification system which allows the Town Hall to communicate with its citizens information of a general or urgent nature. This will be particularly helpful in the event of major incidents.
I would recommend all citizens download the application which can obtained at the iTunes store or google play store. 
The name of the application is ´Living Zurgena´.
Get connected and stay connected to your Zurgena Town Hall. 
Download the app.
If you have a business or something you wish to be considered for inclusion on the application please contact Jim Simpson 610194260 or email jimszurgena@gmail.com
Spanish language version is at Vive Zurgena

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Petanque Competition.

The Petanque tournament is to be held as below. If you wish to enter a team please contact the Town Hall in the next couple of days.

Walking Football Tournament

The successful walking football activity held its first tournament yesterday and I am reliably informed our local team won against opposition form Lubrin, Arboleas, Albox and La Alfoquia. Both La Alfoquia and Arboleas ended the tournament with the same points bu La Alfoquia were the winners due to the higher number of goals scored.

If you are interested in taking part it is held each Tuesday morning at 10.0am on the artificial grass pitch at the side of the municipal pool. Ian Hamilton is the organiser and he can be contacted on 634320636.


Monday, July 4, 2016

La Alfoquia Fiesta 2016



Programme for the La Alfoquia Fiesta 2016.


Brexit

I am endeavouring to enlist the support of the politicians in our part of Spain to issue a statement which shows that the authorities here will look to protect the rights of expats in Spain following any negotiations or discussions about Britains´ possible exit from the E.U.

To that end I have a meeting with the President of the Mancommunidad of the Almanzora valley tomorrow morning to discuss this. Will post developments on here.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Referendum and Representation

Below is a mission statement which we have agreed this week. We are circulating it as widely as possible to determine who wishes to be involved (just supporting) the idea. Please read share forward to anyone you know who may consider it worthwhile as we are trying to build a database of expats from which we can organise a voice.

Can we, as ex-pats, find someone to speak for us - whether in Madrid, or London or in Brussels? We need security and a promise. This is the simple idea which was discussed in a meeting in Almería (Southern Spain) this week, in reaction to the referendum news from the UK. 
While no one knows (or evidently cares) how many ex-pat Britons there are living in Spain – anywhere from 270,000 to 800,000 (quite a variance) –  the reality is that we as a large group have absolutely no ‘say’ in our political future, because we have no representation, no agency, no office, no spokesperson and no defender of our own situation. 
No one can be more in favour of Europe than an expatriate, yet we are not represented.
We are, in fact, larger still: there are an estimated 1,500,000 Britons living in Europe (or perhaps two million – no one knows). We all need protection. 
Larger yet, there are thought to be twenty million Europeans living in another EU country. Who speaks for them? If we were to organise as 'ex-pats', it would be as ex-pats Europe-wide, all those Europeans who live in another country and have no representation in Brussels. (A bit ambitious, but that's where we need to be looking). We need to have a voice in Brussels – and a valid European passport or identity card. Then we will be safe from maverick politicians and racial division.
So let us start now, before the recent politics of the UK can breach our safety and our comfort. To begin, we will need a list of supporters’ names, with their email address, local town, province and country. 
With a thousand names, we will begin our journey to Brussels. 
Our Email is: andyjimlenox@gmail.com : please write to introduce yourself.
Andrew Mortimer, Jim Simpson and Lenox Napier