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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meeting and Cosentino

Had an interesting meeting this morning where we established a Commission of Absenteeism for the children. We do not have a lot of kids who habitually stay off school but we do have some recidivists so this Commission should be able to help tackle this problem.

I will be emailing those who have expressed desire to go on the Cosentino trip. It looks as thought I will get permission from the Town Hall to pay for the bus so the only cost on the day will be lunch and we are looking at options for that.

We have an extraordinary Pleno tomorrow which will be to approve our considered Environmental Impact Report which should be approved and then attached to the PGOU completing all the documentation necessary.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cancer Bus and Postal Boxes.

I have been asked to canvas the english speaking community to see if there is any interest in having a presentation by AECC (in english). This is the Cancer charity of Almeria who are responsible for providing help and assistance with all aspects of cancer care. If you are or have a friend or relative who is, or has, suffered from Cancer ,you may benefit from the information they can give you. If it would interest you please let me know by email or telephone.

As you all know we have been running a weekly bus service which collects at all villages and takes the passengers to Huercal Overa on Market Day (Monday). We heavily subsidise this service as it was one of the most important requests, on a survey of expats some 4 years ago. However very few people are using the service and I have decided to run the service at half price from now until the end of June to see if this increases the usage. As from Monday next the price of the bus will be €2.50 return. If there is little or no take up of the service we will discontinue it at the end of June.

I have had a few people ask if there were any available postal boxes opposite La Vida. Unfortunately most people when they have sold their homes have handed over the boxes to the new owners. In order to see if there is enough people wanting a box at this location I am canvassing for interested parties. If you or someone you know wants a box at this location please ask them to let me know. If there is sufficient numbers to make it economic to commission another buzon I will look at it.

We have about 8 places left on the Cosentino Marble factory trip on the 17th May left.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Doctors and Cosentino

Firstly I have pleasure in informing all the residents of our municipality of a new Town Hall initiative following our efforts to make this area a great location for retirement living. As you know we have a great range of activities for the over 45´s to keep fit and our Town Hall has helped a number of people to register on the Spanish Health system. But I am aware that a number of people, resident here, who are reluctant to register with the local doctors and the primary reason for this being the language barrier.

The Town Hall of Zurgena  has now made an arrangement with CATS Services in La Alfoquia. Many of you already know about and use CATS services for making your doctors appointments and arranging a translator. As from from Monday next 18th April, this service will be financed by the Town Hall. So in future if you want to make a doctors appointment and you want a free interpreter to be present contact CATS Services on 950 63 43 88 or mobile 627 635 514 or call into their offices on the main road in La Alfoquia. They will arrange the appointment to suit and ensure an interpreter is in attendance. This will be a free service provided by the Town Hall of Zurgena.

Of course this does not impede your decision to arrange your own doctors appointment with your own interpreter but that will not be funded by the Town Hall and does not apply to hospital appointments. This is a specific arrangement between the Town Hall and CAT Services relevant to the doctors surgeries in Zurgena and La Alfoquia.

Secondly the Town Hall of Zurgena can offer you the opportunity to visit the marble factory of Cosentino on Tuesday 17th May.  The visit will comprise as follows;

Arrive at 10.30 
·        Visit to the showrooms and corporate video
·        Listen to employees of the company where the products
.        Visit to the Industrial Unit Dekton (by coach)
·        End of visit and group photo.

The length of the visit will be approx 3 hours and we will arrange a location for lunch.
The Town Hall will arrange a coach details to follow. There will be approx 40 spaces on this trip and if you are interested please contact me or the Town Hall with your full name address (in Zurgena) and NIE. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Paella and Doctors

Fantastic Paella today in the Renfe. We had the pleasure of watching our Spanish friends demonstrate to us how to make two different traditional Paellas at the Renfe. 

I am often humbled by the kindness and generosity of our Spanish neighbours. Thanks to Lola Antas (our deputy Mayor), Victorino, Lolo (Concejale) and his dad and mum, Domingo and Modesto and Lianne Wright for giving up their time yesterday, to shop, and today to prepare for us a wonderful lunch. A few pictures below. Next month we will do Albondigas and Magra con Tomate for those who enjoy and want to learn more about traditional local cooking.

Secondly we are making a press release regarding the Town Halls provision of a free interpreter service for all non Spanish speaking residents on Tuesday and I will update the blog once that has been done.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Flamenco and Marble

The Town Hall of Partaloa have organised a free Flamenco demonstration on the evening of Thursday 14th April at 9.30pm. It is to be held in the area known as Espace Escenico at the far end of the town.

Secondly just to give you advance notice that we are organising a tour round the huge Consentino Marble factory of May and will post further details once agreed.

Thursday, April 7, 2016



This is my update on the progress of our PGOU (Plan General Orden Urbanizacion) 

As many of you know we have had a Plan since about 2005. The original one was immediately knocked back. Since that time the Town Hall has made attempt after attempt to get it approved. The major stumbling block being that the Junta (the regional authorities) continually changed the rules and requirements for approval of such plans so much so that in the past 10 years almost no Town Halls in all of Andalucia have had a PGOU approved. 

Zurgena Town Hall has constantly worked to achieve an approved plan and, by last year ,we were happy that the plan we presented satisfied all the changed rules and complied with all requirements and we had hoped that it would be passed. Unfortunately they then asked for a further inform to cover doubts about 18 water issues within the plan. These were around sewerage and fresh water supply. We were the first to compile such a report to address all these issues and represented it in March of this year. We expected it to progress to the commission and then be approved BUT we were then made aware of a ruling against Malaga´s PGOU which could impact on ours (and every other PGOU in Spain) and could potentially delay it for years. This was because we were (only in March) made aware of the fact that this ruling (re Malaga) could impact all Town Halls Plans. It hinged on a E.U. directive from 2004 which stipulated that all PGOUs must have attached to them an environmental impact study. The Junta should have made all Town Halls aware of this years ago. 

We therefore decided to retrieve the administrative part of our submitted plan and amend it to include such a report. This way the Junta can continue to examine the plan whilst we did the work. Our Mayor, Secretary, technical architect all worked tirelessly over easter to complete this work. Now that they have done this they have sent it for the Junta to study it and let us know confirm that it satisfies the directive before we put it before Pleno and then submit formally for the process to proceed. The 15 days for the Junta to study this part commenced last Tuesday.

We are now in a position which no other Municipality in Andalucia is in. We have a detailed plan before them which complies with all requirements, includes a fully comprehensive report on the water issues and a complete environmental impact study. We are the first and only municipality in Andalucia to have reached this stage. 

The process now is for these documents, if compliant, to be put before a Pleno meeting sometime between 20th April and 1st May. Then there is a 45 days public consultation period.

The environmental report is also sent to the environment agency who have 1 month to respond. We expect that it should pass their consideration. 

Speaking to those most involved in this process we are optimistic that our plan should pass all considerations and be approved before November of this year. This period to include the public consultation period and the study by the Junta and Commission in totality.

I want to add my thanks and appreciation to the people who have worked so stoically and hard for us in this endeavour Candido Trabalon (previous Mayor), Luis David Garcia (Current Mayor), Manuel Tijeras (Previous Councillor for Urbanisation), Manuel Martos (Secretary) Francisco Salvadore (Technical Architect) and many others.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Back to Work, PGOU, Paella, Football 7s, Badminton, Memory, Cancer Support.

I have returned to work today after 10  days in the UK (now full of cold!).

There has been a meeting between our Politicians and the Junta regarding our PGOU whilst I was away. I will be asking for an update in the next two days and hope to post the outcome of this meeting on here as soon as I can. I am waiting for two reports from participants in this meeting before formulating a public statement, hopefully within a week.

A reminder to those who have expressed an interest that Lola will be showing us how to make traditional Paella in the local way this coming Sunday in the Renfe at 11.0am. If any changes I will post them on here. As there is over 30 people attending can I ask that you bring a bottle of wine or whatever you would like to wash it down with. We have supplies and we may not need to break into any brought bottles but just to be on the safe side.

I notice that there is still no sign of work commencing on the motorway and on asking I was informed that they told us they would be starting work next week but we have not yet had a call to say they are definitely going to!!!!

Football. Enrique has asked if I can see if there is any team of 7 players who would like to take part in a small tournament being organised for this Saturday in La Alfoquia. If you are interested please contact me.

The gentleman who runs the Badminton club in Cantoria wants to know if there are any residents from our area who want to participate in Badminton in the Sports Hall in Zurgena on Monday evenings. At the moment he has 3 but he needs to have nearer to 10 to make it viable. So if you are a badminton player or want to learn please drop me an email or give me a call and I will forward the details to him. I need to know by Monday 11th April.

Another initiative being held on the 26th April is a short class helping people with memory exercises. This is initially for Spanish but if there is sufficient interest from the english speaking community we will organise one for them. Again just drop me an email if you would be interested in this.

For anyone who is dealing with Cancer in a friend or relative the Spanish Association Fight Cancer provides all the support services for anyone needing help. The Association has a web site and are contactable on 682142441 or 950244206. If you need help and want to contact this association contact my office and we will provide support.

Lastly just a couple of pictures of our interesting day at Calar Alto Observatory which I think most people thoroughly enjoyed. The guides were both very helpful and the time flew past.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Electricity Interruption

I have been in the UK for the past week or so but needed to post the following for those who it may affect.

There is to be an interruption to the electricity supply to the houses in the following streets on the 11th April from 0830 until1230pm.

Calle de la Constitucion, Calle Las Cruces, Extraradio, Plaza de la Iglesia, Pe Las Lomas, Calle Matadero, Plaza Padre Torres, Pago Reyes, Calle Rambla and Avenida 19 Octubre.