My email jiminysimpson@gmail.com

My email jiminysimpson@gmail.com

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hooray Holidays

Just to inform you that I shall be on holiday from Sunday 27th August until Sunday 24th September.

It does mean I will miss the Zurgena Fiesta!

During my absence I will monitor my emails etc but please bear in mind there may be some delay in responding.

For any matters that require more immediate response or attention please contact Andreas on the help desk or Jose Manuel on his mobile 687531499 (although he will not be in the office he has agreed to provide a telephone service during this period).

I have provided the other councillors with a list of the matters which have been reported to me as outstanding and I have given them the details of the people who need to know any results.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Presentation to June for Aqua Aerobics

Today, on behalf of the people who have been enjoying the Aqua Aerobics, I made a presentation to June Hamilton.

June ran the Aqua Aerobics last year as a self employed individual and was able to charge a small fee for doing so, however, this year due to the complications of being set employed, she was no longer self employed and therefore the Town Hall could no longer allow her to hold her aqua classes.

After discussion the Town Hall discovered that as long as she did not charge any entrance fee she could still  have the aqua classes. June, being June, was quite happy to do that as she said at the time she does not do it for the money but for the pleasure of helping people stay fit and active. Otherwise there would have been no Aqua this year.

Last year she averaged 15 to 20 persons per class but the year it was 40 to 60!!

The attendees so enjoyed the classes that they held a collection for her and it was this, that I was honoured to present to June.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spanish Classes

Manolo will be restarting the Spanish classes in the 3rd Age room below the Municipal Library in Zurgena from the 4th September.

He will be there in the afternoons from about 4.0pm until 6.0pm but you can also contact him on or after that date on his phone 651 090 728. But registration will take place from 1100am that same day.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Zurgena Fiesta Programme

Please find below the programme for the Fiesta de San Ramon Nonnato between the 26th August and 3rd September 2017.

Saturday 26th August
1730 Basketball in the street
2200 Kalafa Rock band Plaza del Olmo

Sunday 27th August
0900 Petanque tournament

Monday 28th until Thursday 31st
Dominoes Tournament

Tuesday 29th to Sunday 3rd September
2000 x 2230 in the Municipal library Photographic Exhibition entitled "Spaces"

Tuesday 29th August
1700 Sports School Football 7s.

Wednesday 30th to Thursday 31st August
1700 Football 7s for adults.

Wednesday 30th August
Day of the Children
2000 Veterans Football 7s.
0000 Fireworks to signal the start of the fiesta.

Thursday 31st August
0930 Free Chocolate and churros for the 3rd Age
1300 Half Day Fair with municipal bars open.
1900 Celebration of our Patron Saint San Ramon Nonnatto with procession.
0000 Music from Orchestra Kaos 57, Gira Albert Tours and a duet.
0030 Gala crowning the Queen of the Fiesta and the elction of the Infant and juvenile queen, Miss Simpatica, Miss Tourism and Mister 2017.

Friday 1st September
1100 x 1300 Water Games in the Plaza Cinco Martires.
1300 Half day Fair with municipal bars.
1700 Water Slide in Calle Victoriano Lucas.
0000 Music from Orchestra Pentagrama and a duet.

Saturday 2nd September
1300 Half day Fair with municipal bars.
1700 Table Tennis tournament in the floor below the municipal library.
1700 Childrens Run in Parque Gines Parra.
1900 Horse run in the rambla of Rio Almanzora.
0000 Music from Orchestra Pentagrama and the duet.

Sunday 3rd September
1300 Half day Fair with municipal bars.
1800 Foam party in the sports area next to the rambla.
1930 Dog Show with dogs exhibiting skills such as substance searching etc.
0000 Music with the group Brisa.
0100 Fireworks at the castle to signal end of the fiesta.

Felice fiestas!

Friday, August 18, 2017

For all you Rockers out there

The Town Hall has organised a rock concert for Saturday 26th August as part of the Zurgena Fiesta weeks activities. Admission is free and it starts in the Plaza del Olmo at 2200.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Trip and Walk

Firstly there is a trip to the Balneario (spa baths) in Archena on Thursday 14th September.

The price for the coach, food and entrance to the Spa Baths is €25 and registration is required in the Town Hall prior to the 7th September.

Ignore the entry for the walk that was on here the date was totally wrong. My apologies for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

National Holiday Tuesday 15th

Just tomato you all aware that the Assumption of Mary National Holiday will be held on Tuesday 15th August. As this is a national holiday it is a bank holiday.

We are however pleased to say that the Municipal Pool will be open that day for the usual activities including the Aqua Aerobics.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Annual Integration Fiesta and Blocked Drains

I thought it worthwhile to post on here the telephone number for reporting blocked drains as we have had a few of these lately. In the first place if the blockage is between your property and its connection to the main drain then the responsibility and cost falls on the homeowner. If it beyond that point it is the responsibility of Galasa. 
Galasa have a 24 hour telephone number for reporting such blockages and it is 950 916 738. 
Two companies who provide the drain cleaning service that I know of are Sepserve 675 838 808 and Blocked Drains r us 950 091 109 or 648 768 587 both have english speaking receptionists. I am not making recommendations merely putting the numbers out.








Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rubbish Reminder

Just a simple reminder to people to please be thoughtful about disposing of your waste. The basura system here, I think, is very good and people should help suppport it by ensuring the correct waste is put in the correct bins and not leave general rubbish at the side of the bin attracting vermin etc.

Remember there are two days a month when the Consorciuo will collect larger items which can be left at the side of the asuras and that is the 12th and 27th. So if you have any larger item please place it by the basura the previous evening for collection.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Zurgena Fiesta

Now that La Alfoquia´s fiesta is over we are preparing for the Fiesta for Zurgena which is over the week ended 3rd September.

In preparation for this fiesta we will include any and all social events which are being organised by the expat communities.

So two things, firstly if you have any events (social or sport) during this week please let me know for inclusion in the programme and secondly if you are a proprietor of a business and wish to have an advert in the Fiesta magazine please also contact me.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Temporary Suspension of Free Doctors Interpreters Service & IBI Discounts

Unfortunately, and due to anti corruption legislation, we have to suspend the free doctors interpreters Service for a couple of months. This is to allow the bidding process for the contract to be completed.

We anticipate the service will be restarted in October but I will post on here once the new contracts are agreed.

Regarding the process for receiving a discount on IBI when paying by direct debit, we have now passed this in Pleno. For the process to be applied to your individual IBI accounts it is necessary to complete a solicitude in the Town Hall. The paperwork for this will be available from 1st October until the 31st December but can only apply from the next financial year. No matter what your current payment method is if you wish to avail yourself of the discount you will need to call in to the Town Hall to complete the form between early October and 31st December and it will apply to the following years.

The process for using CATS for your doctors appointments continues. It is just that you will be required to pay them for the services of the interpreter.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Dogs Fines

For information the Polizia Local have issued a total of 6 fines, in the past few weeks, to dog owners for allowing their dogs on the public ways without a lead. 

Charity Walk in Cantoria

On Saturday the 29th July there is an organised walk in aid of Association Duchenne Parent Project which is raising funds to help tackle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

There is a timed run with microchips for runners. This run is for anyone over 16 years and is of 8.5kms and starts at 8.0pm. Registration for this event (ONLY) online at www.

There is also a walk (for those non competitive types!) over 8.8kms on the Route Peñon del Lugar Viejo which starts at 7.0pm from the Plaza de la Constitucion in Cantoria. Entrance for all events is €10. This includes a backpack, shirt and sweatband. To register for the walk go to a branch of Unicaja and pay your €10 into the  account Unicaja ES02 2103 5270 65 0030005139 against your name and event.

There is also a timed run with microchips for runners. This run is for anyone over 16 years and is of 8.5kms and starts at 8.0pm. Registration for this event (ONLY) online at www.cruzandolameta.es.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Work Offer & Johnson

A friend of mine is looking to find a temporary replacement for her at her place of work due to maternity leave for a period of 4 month which could be extendable.

The work is in an Estate Agents office and is for 20 to 30 hours per week. It involves admin work in the office. The work entails writing contracts, checking paperwork, organising signing at Notary offices etc. Must have sufficient Spanish to have basic conversations.

If you or anyone you know is interested just email me or call.

Does anyone know of contact details for a Dennis Roy Johnson or his wife Amanda Gillian Johnson. This couple are the owners of 1, Calle Finlandia and we need to contact them. We have no contact details in the Town Hall and it would be in their interests to make contact. If you know of this couple or anyone else who may know them please pass the message on.

New Roundabout

I have had many people question me as to what the new roundabout is going to look like. Questions such as is it an advert for a new MacDonalds? is it going to have a fountain? etc.

The plan for the roundabout is to replicate one of the double arch railway bridges in the area.

We are still looking for something to erect on the top. Originally it was hoped we could get some old railway machinery but the prices for such were astronomical €30,000 for one so we are still looking at other options. One suggestion below!!!


Friday, July 14, 2017

Complaints regarding Electricity Cuts

I am grateful to Ron Tims for the below response (from Fenie Energy) regarding a complaint about electricity supply cuts. Interesting

In relation to your previous e-mail, we inform you that we are only responsible for billing you, the company that is in charge of the electric network in the area is your distributor (ENDESA DISTRIBUCIÓN).

If there is a scheduled cut, they usually warn you through posters on the street or in your building.

If a breakdown occurs, it is not possible to notify customers so that they have to wait until it is resolved.

In any case we recommend that when you do not have electricity, always call 900.215.470.

Then, we send you the ways to complain:

1- Claim through your insurance. We will send you a breakdown locator code (data provided by your distributor company) to identify the incident date / time and then compensate for it.

2- Claim directly to your zone distributor. In this case, we will send you a document to fill in all the damage data and the damage produced. Once it is returned we will process the complaint. This process is the slowest since the distributor could take months to give us an answer.

Finally, we inform you that if it was a scheduled cut, the distributor could qualify the claim as improper as it has been warned by posters in the area or in the local press.

Albox Recycling Centre

This was posted on Facebook today and is of interest to many of you who have been asking about where and how you can get rid of stuff.

Lamps, wood, sofas, remains of work, oils, batteries all kinds of bulky goods, computer equipment ... We remind you that very close to the fire station all the neighbours have at their disposal the clean point of Albox with free delivery. For our health and cleanliness of Albox, do not deposit these products in another place other than the clean point. All kinds of information call Miguel 649 902 502



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

La Alfoquia Fiesta Programme

Sorry I thought I had already posted this.


Wednesday 12th July Exhibition in the Renfe until Sunday 16th 8.30pm until 11.0pm
                                   1800 Bowling Tournament
                                    1900 Football 7 tournament daily until 16th July
                                   2100 Music Renfe from 2100 with Charlie and others
                                    All day Childrens Day
Thursday 13th July     0000 Fireworks
                                    2200 Flamenco by Ria Pita
                                     2300 Music by Cuarteto Tucan
                                     2359 Election of Infant and Youth Queen. (Mister fiesta Miss Simpatia y
                                      Mr Turismo)
Friday 14th July           1130 Workshop in the Renfe
                                      Free entrance to the municipal swimming pool in the afternoon.
                                      1700 Games in the swimming pool
                                      2300 Popular Orchestra music Renfe from Maximus Show
Saturday 15th July        0930 Free Churros for 3rd Age
                                      1600 Table Tennis Tournament Renfe
                                      1900 Foam Party in the Sports area.
                                       2300 Music from Orchestra Carousel Show and Duo Musical a Contraluz
Sunday 16th July           2030 Celebration of the Saint in honour of La Virgen del Carmen
                                       2100 Solemn Procession accompanied by the village band.
                                       2300 Music from Kaos 57

Felice Fiestas.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer

As most of you who have lived here for any length of time will know we are reaching that period of limited bureaucratic activity.

We are still working hard on things like projects and the PGOU but the administrative staff will be taking holidays over the next few weeks and this week of course is the La Alfoquia Fiesta so the Town Hall will be closed on Monday 17th (sorry just changed that from Friday my mistake). The Town Hall will not be closed for any extended time during the summer but there will be very limited staff.

Jose Manuel will not be in the office very much either as he is taking time off.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Aqua Aerobics and Walking Football

Just a few pics of todays first Aqua aerobics class (of the summer) and walking football.

Ian and June run both these classes voluntarily both are on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1000 x1045 at the municipal pool and adjacent pitch. Any enquiries to me or to Ian or June on 634320636.








Provincial Plan Works

Many of you I know are awaiting (and have been for a few years now!) the work to repair the roads Calle Finlandia, Calle Escocia, Calle Dinamarca and Calle Irlanda amongst other.

These works were agreed to be financed by the Diputacion within the Provincial Plan for 2017. I have been constantly pushing for this work to get going. The contracts were put out to tender in the first 3 month of this year and the winning bids have now, I understand, been accepted by the Diputacion and the work should start in September. Will keep my fingers crossed and also keep pressuring to get them started.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Spanish Lessons for September start

For those interested in registering for the Spanish lessons (held in the room by the library) for the coming year, registration will take place at this location from 1100 on the 4th September.

The identity of the tutor will not be known until nearer the day.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Aqua Aerobics and Walking Football

Final definitive arrangements for the above;

June will be doing her aqua aerobics at the municipal swimming pool from 1000 x 1045 each Tuesday and Thursday from next Tuesday the 4th July and the classes will be free. They will continue throughout the summer. Only restriction will be numbers.

Ian Hamiltons´ walking football will be on the same days and times but will have to start charging €2 pre person to use the artificial pitch. Apparently some have complained that other groups have to pay and it is only fair that all do.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pleno and Walking Football

This evening at 8.0pm we had our 3 monthly Plenary session of the council. The attendance was rather disappointing with all the administering councillors in attendance but not one of the opposition councillors!

Our mayor recorded his disappointment in the recording of the meeting. The upside was that, with no opposition present, the meeting was over in a little over 35 minutes! I think a record in the past 10 years.

We passed a total of 6 items and these included the IBI discount (once formalised will post details)  and approval for a new petrol station.

Iam Hamilton who takes the walking football on Tuesday morning is starting to also have a Thursday morning session (due to the popularity) and tomorrow will be his first Thursday one starting at 1000 hours.


Stray Dogs and Cats

It seems that problems with animals pose more of an issue across the world than almost anything else!

40 years ago as a uniform sergeant I had to represent the Police and the Council of Wakefield at an annual meeting at which residents were encouraged to raise their community issues and concerns, such as crime, antisocial behaviour etc. Rather surprisingly to me the issues raised were all about dogs and cats! Now here I am 40 years later and guess what - same things.

Over the past 2 weeks we have received a number of complaints particularly about stray dogs in 3 separate areas. It would appear that in some cases individuals are feeding these dogs which of course encourages them to stay in the area they are being fed in, which is residential. This can and does seem to give rise to complaints.

The process for the Town Hall is that when we receive a complaint we send the Police to try and check if the animals are microchipped (which is why we bought them a microchip reader) in which case the owner can be traced and made responsible. If the dog is not chipped then the Police can seize it or we can call in the pound staff to seize it. Of course this can be expensive for such a small town as if they cannot find or catch the dog we still get charged. On the last 3 occasions we have despatched the Police to check stray dogs twice they have been unable to check if microchipped and only once managed to seize 2 alsatians.

May we ask that people desist from feeding stray dogs in residential areas please.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Photos of the Legion Safety Exercise Day

I have today received a selection of photographs released by the Legion of our safety day exercise last month.












Thursday, June 22, 2017

Aqua Aerobics Postponed starting date

Many apologies the starting date for the Aqua aerobics has had to be put back to the first Tuesday in July e.g. 4th July and each following Thursday and Tuesday through the summer.

Sorry for any inconvenience.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Aqua Aerobics & Charity

June Hamilton is holding her Aqua Aerobics classes again this summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1000 x 1045 at the municipal swimming pool in La Alfoquia.

Junes classes are very good and she knows what she is doing. I know as I attended one last year and it was an excellent workout.



In relation to charitable acts the Town Hall honoured David Shear and his organisation PIRdA for their work and donations of 25 reconditioned computers to the villages schools and the library.
His organisation takes donated unwanted computers and he cleans them reconditions them and brings them up to date and then after installing the appropriate software installs them in the schools and other needy places. The pictures below show David being presented with a plaque and ceramic plate and the group of helpers who support his organisation.


Also today the Town Hall was pleased to receive from the Church members from Los Llanos del Peral a total of 21 bags of food for the poor of our municipality. These will be distributed over the next few days.



Friday, June 16, 2017

BBQs IBI Discount, DOGS and Llanos Fiesta

I have had a number of people question whether they are allowed to have BBQs given the various warnings regarding the weather and the annual restrictions on what can and cannot be done in respect of fire safety.

The rule is no BBQs in the campo or any other unrestricted open areas but in your own gardens there is no problem. Any public event which wishes to hold a BBQ must ask for permission from the Town Hall.

Our next Plenary meeting will be held on the 29h of this month. I have asked the following two items to be placed on the agenda. The first should make it in time not so sure about the second yet!

1. A discount of 5% to be given on IBI bills to all who set up direct debits to pay it annually.

2. A bylaw (norm) making it an offence to allow your dog to be off its lead in a public street or to allow it to defecate in a public place and not clean it up. This is to support the Police in their actions to control dogs and make our town and suburbs a cleaner place.

The Fiesta for Los Llanos del Peral is being restarted this year after a few years of not holding it. The time of the year is different to previous years and I have shown below the programme.

2ND OF JULY ROMERIA 2017
IN HONOR OF OUR PATRON
THE VIRGIN OF CARMEN
LA ALFOQUIA – ZURGENA

10AM MEETING POINT FOR CARRAIGES AND HORSES
AT THE PLAZA VIRGEN DEL CARMEN, LA ALFOQUIA

GIFT FOR THE PARTICIPANTS  (ROMEROS).

DEPARTURE OF THE VIRGIN OF CARMEN WITH THE ROMEROS TOWARDS THE BARRIO OF CHICAGO , AFTERWARDS TO CUCADOR.
ARRIVAL AT THE¨ CHAPEL VIRGIN DE LA SALUD¨ ( LLANOS DEL PERAL ).
AFTERWARDS ALL THE ROMEROS OR PARTICIPANTS WILL ENJOY CULTURAL DAY AT THE PICNIC AREA.
GIFTS GIVEN TO THE BEST CARRIGES AND HORSES.
6PM CHURCH SERVICES AT THE CHAPEL VIRGEN DE LA SALUD ( LLANOS DEL PERAL ) .
AFTER THE CHURCH SERVICES WE WILL CONTINUE WITH SURPRISE ACTIVITIES  AT THE PICNIC AREA.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cultural Day September 30th

As things are now slowing down for the summer months Lola and I have been discussing what we should do for our next Cultural day once the heat of summer has gone. We have decided to partially replicate the formula we did last year on food.

The day which, we thought, went really well, was the food day. This was where we had a few people present a recipe from their culture. The people who were selected did a short presentation of on their food and how to make it e.g. I did haggis.

Hopefully we can get 3 people who have not previously presented to do this at this next event. They could also bring along a sample of that food for people to try after the main demonstration which would be by a local Spanish lady of how to make traditional Gurullos and Gazpacho to a Zurgena recipe.

So the programme would be along the lines of ,

11000 Presentation by 3 individuals of their traditional food and how to make it
1145 Demonstration by Lola Antas of how to make traditional Gurullos and Gazpacho.
1300 Eating and drinking of the foods brought by the attendees from their homelands.

It follows that all persons attending can bring along a food (and drink if they wish) from their homeland.

At this stage I am only asking for volunteers who would like to present a dish. Once we have decided on the presenters we will publish the details and  registration for the day will take place. This will ensure that we have control of the numbers of people and the foods which will be available.

The last such event was a great success and I would hope that this could be the same.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Police and Breathalyser

The Polizia Local have now taken delivery of a state of the art breathalyser machine which will enable them to carry out roadside breath testing. This machine is an evidentially acceptable and accurate machine.

Previously the local Police would have to wait for a machine to be delivered to them to carry out such a test but now they have the means to enforce drink driving laws in our municipality and make our roads safer.

They also have been provided with a micro chip reader to assist with the control of dogs in the area and other items of equipment to help them perform their duties.

Officers Jose Anthonio Aliaga and Francisco Bonillo.


Permanent Electricity Supply, Outline for Alfoquia Fiesta, Miss Tourism, Music & Another Insurance Contact

We have recently helped a number of our residents who are still on temporary electricity supply to obtain a permanent supply, by the provision of a Definitive Boletin. One company who is conducting this work is MEZUR based in La Alfoquia. Their office is on the square in front of the Panaderia Argentinian in La Alfoquia. The lady in the office is named Puri. The basic cost for this service is €100 with an option to upgrade the potency for a further €40. Their contact details are email mezur@hotmail.es telephone 950634499. They do not speak english but for a simple bit of work such as this it is not difficult.

Rough outline of planned events for Alfoquia fiesta week are as follows;

9th July 10.0am Petanque tournament (Teams welcome)
9th, 10th,11th Football Tournament
Possible Bowling Tournament 12th?
13th July Day of the child kids get discounts on attractions.
13th July 1200 Crowning of Fiesta Queen and music at the Renfe
14th July Free entry to the pool and aquatic games at 1700
15th July 0930 Free churros for Senior Citizens, 1900 Foam Party at football pitch by the school
16th July 0830 Church Service and 0900 Procession.
There will also be music most evenings of the week and we are looking to bring in some British musicians to provide music earlier in the evening as the Spanish musicians start about 11.0pm. If you know of any who may be interested in performing as them to get in touch please.

ALSO I have been asked if I know of any attractive personable young ladies between the ages of 12 and 20 who may be interested being the Miss Tourism La Alfoquia 2017. Of course I answered that I did not know any attractive young ladies! But if you know of a lady who fits this description please let me know.



Recently contacted by a young man acting for DKV Insurance company and he wanted to get his contact details out to the english community. His company provide differing integrated insurance solutions including life, health, travel, funeral etc. His contact details are
Fernando Artero Cesar mob 622355611 email fernando.artero@dkvdirecto.com
website dkvseguros.com.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fiesta Dates Summer 2017

Dates for your diaries for this year.

Fiesta de San Pedro, Casas Nuevas,  La Alfoquia 1st 2nd July

Fiesta Virgen del Carmen, La Alfoquia Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th July

Fiesta de San Ramon Nonato Zurgena Thursday 31st August to Sunday 3rd September.

When the agenda is agreed I will post details.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Evening Walk Reminder

Just a reminder that we have the annual evening walk by moonlight on the 10th June starting at 7.30pm from the Pool Bar.

This is a very enjoyable walk of 10kms and ends back at the pool bar. It is necessary to register for the walk on this link

http://rutasysenderosdealmeria.es/ver/zurgena---367/

Any problems registering let me know and I will help. The cost of the walk is 5 euros this is just for insurance and some refreshments after the walk.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Events and Blood Donations

I have been discussing with Lola the opportunities for arranging further cultural events during the next few months and due to various other activities and, given the time of year, we are not now planning any further events until September at the earliest. We did have a few ideas but due to other commitments and the unavailability of facilities it is not really possible. So you can all have a quiet summer (as can I).

The blood service of Almeria will be in attendance at the Town Hall from 6.30pm until 9.30pm Monday 12th June.

If you are a blood donor or wish to donate blood please call in.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Public Works Update

Spent some time this morning with the councillor for Public Works regarding ongoing work in the municipality and works upcoming.

The work to improve the lighting and area of Calle Mino and the restructuring of lights in the area of Calle Lobregat has started. Also they are going to thin out the lights in Calle Lobregat and replace them in other areas of Los Carasoles that need them.

In the area of the cemetery where the large marble wall has partially collapsed the TH is having a larger piece of machinery come in later this week to remove the dangerous rocks and reroute the water to ensure it does not undercut the wall. We have an urgent request into the Diputacion for a grant to repair restore the wall to prevent any further collapse.

I asked if we had any further update on the motorway works restarting. Fran informed me that we are still awaiting notification of the restart. He expects to hear something this year!! In relation to that we discussed the option for making roundabouts on the main road through Los Carasoles. Obviously unless, and until, the motorway is completed that road remains the responsibility of the Junta and they will not authorise any such work.

Regarding the sleeping policemen outside La Vida it is still on the list to be done but he is waiting for the next work with tarmac from the Junta and he intends to use some of that. So it may be a couple of months yet.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Security & Electricity Issues

The authorities in Granada and Andalucia have increased their assessment on the terrorist threat by one level.

This is in light of the attack in Manchester. The outward signs of this decision will be increased patrols in places of crowds or potential targets. The public advice remains the same to stay calm but to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the authorities.

We have all, including the Town Hall, been suffering from electrical outages over the past two days.
We (the Town Hall) enquired of the electricity companies and their explanation was that they are upgrading the infrastructure and there will be occasional power cuts over the next few weeks. I asked if we could be informed of when these are likely to happen and was told no!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ayuntamiento and La Legion

Many thanks to the Spanish Legion for conducting the Public Safety exercise in our village today. As usual the Legion officers and men were a credit to their regiments. They were polite courteous, informative, helpful and very professional. Thanks to Capitan Cuevas and his men for supporting our town and helping us to develop our emergency plan. I conveyed this message to the General after the meal on your behalf.
Oh and the army meal was very enjoyable!!

Thanks also go to the 80 local residents who gave up their Wednesday mornings to support this initiative. I hoe they all enjoyed and learned a little of the processes which will kick in in the event of an emergency.

As is usual with such events it throws up issues for us, who are responsible for planning, and the one big one today was what do we do with peoples pets in the event of an evacuation. I will try and address this issue when we finalise our plan.

Photographs should be available once they have been cleared and sent to the Town Hall. I will publish those when I can.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Moon Walk (not like Michael Jackson)

The annual walk by moonlight is to be held on Saturday 10th June leaving from the pool bar at 7.30pm. 

The walk is of 10kms and is a circular ending back at the pool bar for well earned refreshment.

If you wish to join us please complete the registration on the Town Halls website at this page

http://rutasysenderosdealmeria.es/ver/zurgena---367/


Follow the link and click on inscribirme yo, registrarte, datos personales, continuar and then complete the form. It costs €5.

If you have any problems registering just call in or email me your details and I will add your registration.

Fiesta Palaces and Possible Fiesta for Los Llanos del Peral.

This weekend sees the Fiesta of Palaces.

TIMES

Wednesday 24th 8.0pm Flower Offering to the Saint, 8.30pm walk with the patron saint to collect donations.
Friday 5.30pm Fireworks followed by a  race at 6.0pm
Saturday 11.0am Children's games, Popular Games, 2.0pm Giant Paella, 6.0pm Mass at church, 8.0pm Procession through the village, 11.0pm Music from the band Vega Sur, 1.0am Coronation of the Queens etc

We have also been approached about holding a Fiesta for Los Llanos del Peral to be held on the weekend of 6th to 9th July. Nothing has yet been confirmed but his is just to make those residents aware of the potential date.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Wednesdays Exercise UPDATE for those who volunteered only!

Due to circumstances beyond our control the exercise this week is changing in design.

The main effect of the changes is that the Legion lorries will not be rounding everyone up from Rendezvous Points and transporting them to the temporary base.

What we are doing is asking people from the differing areas to do one of two different things.

1) If they can make their way directly to the gymnasium in La Alfoquia (up near the pool bar) for 1115am. 

2) If they do not have transport to make their way to a rendezvous point (which we will identify once we know which areas need transport). I or a member of staff from the Town Hall will meet them and take them to the gymnasium to meet the others.

There they will be given a short talk from the Mayor and the Legion. They will then be taken on a tour of the temporary base and shown the Legions logistics battalion build of a temporary base in the event of an emergency and provided with a meal prepared by the Legion logistics team.

In order that I can arrange for sufficient vehicles can you let me know if you need transport. If you do we will suggest a rendezvous point at which we can collect you by private car or van.

I, more than anyone, am disappointed that we cannot run part of the exercise more like an incident but I am afraid has come from a higher authority. I do hope that you can still support us. There will still be some benefits for the Town Hall in understanding our processes in the event of an emergency and the protocols involved., From the participants perspective they will get a good look round a modern Forces mobile base as used in both hostile and non hostile environments, get to chat to the soldiers some of whom are keen to try out their english and of course get a free meal. I guess one additional benefit will be if you make your own way there you will be able to leave at your own convenience!

Please confirm that you can still take part or not (for catering reasons) and remember to include whether you need transport.  

Kind regards Jim Simpson

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A picture from the successful walking football tournament yesterday in La Alfoquia. If anyone fancies a go Ian Hamilton runs it every Tuesday morning and his number is 634320636.

By the way La Alfoquia won the final beating Lubrin 2 - 0.




Friday, May 19, 2017

Fiesta Palaces

The weekend of the 25th, 26th, 27th May is the fiesta of Palaces, you may have noticed the bunting going up!

It is a small fiesta by comparison with the others but there will be an opening Mass on the Thursday and there will be a procession on Saturday followed by a giant Paella.

I have not had confirmed details but this is what I know at the moment.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Twitter, Fitness Gym and Moon Walk

At last after the amazing success that USA President Donald Trump has made of the social medium of Twitter I have decided to go down the same path! I had a previous Twitter account but had not seen the value in it but lately having seen Trumps wonderful use of the thing I thought what can possibly go wrong!

Actually the real reason is I felt that often times I would publish stuff on the app (Living Zurgena or on here) but people needed to know to check those sites to see if there was any news and I thought, if I use twitter, I just need to send out a short message to any and all followers for them to know that new information was out. So if you wish to avail yourself of this I can be found at
@Jimszurgena

The Town Hall has arranged a series of fitness gyms for the less young residents!

Each Friday between 9th and 30th June there will be a fitness gym held from 5.0pm until 6.0pm each Friday.

The first two are to be held in the Municipal Gym in La Alfoquia on the 9th and 16th will cover motor exercise and coordination.

The second two will be held in the Pabellon on 23rd and 30th again between 5.0pm and 6.00pm and will cover home exercises and back care.

So if you fancy getting a little supervised gentle exercise with the help of a professional call into the Town Hall for a form and join in. The class is free.

Secondly the Lunar walk is to be held on Friday June 10th  starting (at 8.0pm) and ending at the Pool Bar in La Alfoquia. It was a great success last year. I do not have the registration forms yet for this just giving you a heads up in case you want to put it in your diary. I will post again when registration is open.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A New Cultural Trip

Below are details of another Cultural event which is built around the history of Macael and the Marble industry on the 27th May.

This is organised by the Town Hall of Macael and includes the bus, historical reenactments, points of historical interest including the Macael Interpretation museum and the Guinness Work Record holding mortar, lunch, viewpoint of Cosentino and a play based on the lives of miners (some parts taken by British expat actors).

The total cost of the trip is €28 per person. Registration is required in the Town Hall of Zurgena prior to the 21st May.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Updates

Just a quick update.

Point 1 is that the projects, asked for in the Provincial Plan, have been out to tender and these have been submitted. We are awaiting the Juntas decision as to who to award these contracts to and then we can see the work commence.

Point 2. I am beginning to get a little excited at the prospect of hearing some positive news soon regarding the PGOU.

Point 3 Operation Costurero trail will conclude on Wednesday next. I attended last weekend hope to be present this Wednesday although the courts decisions are not expected until a week or two after that.

Point 3 I have sufficient non Spanish volunteers for the Safety exercise on the 24th. Thanks to all who volunteered I am sure you will find it beneficial.

Point 4 Trip to Seron is full with a waiting list.

Point 5 It would appear that there may be another cultural option to Macael in the very near future I am awaiting details from Macael Town Hall as it they who are organising this one.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Come on People!! and Dogs

I posted the previous article about the Emergency Exercise in conjunction with the Spanish Legion and I fully expected to have many more volunteers than we need. However after 5 days I have reached the massive number of 28 volunteers!

The exercise is not only to test and improve the response of the security Services but also to ensure that citizens experience and know what might happen in such a scenario. It is therefore in everyones´ interests that the exercise is a real and practical event and all we are asking is for a sufficient number of residents from all parts of our community to support the exercise by being available on Wednesday 24th May and to be taken for a free meal by the Legion! The Legion are probably the foremost fighting arm of the Spanish Forces and their agreement to conduct this exercise with us is a huge benefit for us and we need to make it a success.

So if you have nothing planned for Wednesday 24th May please contact me with your details, NIE, Address and mobile telephone number and make yourself available for a free meal with the Legion.
Just drop me an email to jimszurgena@gmail.com or call me on 610194260 or call into the Town Hall.

Just a short note to inform people that the Town Hall had the Police purchase a micro chip reader as, when they came across strays or dogs which were causing problems, they could not do anything without a reader. They now have the reader, have published the Bando (public notice) and have started fining people for offences in connection with their dogs. It is a small step but one which is needed.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Public Safety Simulated Exercise 24th May & Trip Seron 21st May (Updated 5th May)

The Town Hall of Zurgena, in cooperation with the Spanish Legion, has organised a simulated emergency exercise for the week commencing 22nd May.

Part of the reason we have organised this exercise is to improve the response from emergency services, the Town Hall, Civil protection and the Police. But also to ensure that the residents understand what to do in the case of such an emergency. The simulated exercise will be one of a flooding scenario which we are all too well aware of. 

The exercise has to be as real as possible and to this end we are looking for volunteers to assist on the day. The volunteers will only be acting as affected persons eg not playing a role as such more just being as they would be in real life. 

The part to be played by all the volunteers will be to make themselves available during the day of Wednesday 24th May. At some stage in the morning probably late morning they will be directed to a rendezvous point (close to where they live) where the Legion will arrange collection by army truck and transported to the designated safe area. The Legion will build a temporary Base on the land between the Municipal Swimming Pool and the bypass. There the volunteers will be looked after and provided with a meal. After the exercise they will be returned to their pick up point.

I really hope we can get 50% of the volunteers from the expat (all non Spanish residents) community as the language issue is one of the main reasons we are holding this exercise. There will also be a the opportunity to hear from some of the officers of their experiences in the field. This may be at a different time.

We are looking for a maximum of 150 volunteers but we want 50% to be non Spanish speaking so they can practice any issues that come out of language difficulties. 

I need to compile a comprehensive list for all volunteers with their names, telephone numbers, addresses and NIEs. It is better that we get volunteers from a  number of different areas and age groups. Also people with handicaps or mobility issues would also be welcome as it helps to test the ability of the services to cope with these factors. 

Please, please volunteer. I would rather we had too many volunteer that too few. The potential benefits from a Public Safety perspective are huge as is the ability for our town to form a good  relationship with the Legion for future years. 

So if you wish to help the Town protect you and improve the safety procedures for the area join in this exercise and please submit your details to me. 


The next cultural trip is to Seron and has been confirmed as on Sunday 21st May leaving from Zurgena at 0845 and La Alfoquia at 0900am.

The agenda is as follows

1000 Visit to the museum of stories.
1130 Visit to the historic station of Seron.
1200 Visit to Ham Factory
1300 Visit to cheese Factory
1400 Lunch at Restaurant Cuadrdo with a set menu as follows; Centre Salad, Gurullos, Grilled Pork Chops with chips and egg and for dessert Natillas. The meal will include 1 drink bread and coffee.
1600 Visit to the mining village.
1800 Conclusion of visit.

The cost of the trip is €14.50. Registration for this trip is required with your NIE and telephone number by 14th May.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More Brexit & Electricity Issue

I spent most of yesterday at the University of Elche at a meeting with academics (British and Spanish) and together with representatives from two other groups fighting for our rights post Brexit we did presentations to the audience which included the Vice Consul and another from the Consuls office.

The representatives of ECREU and Bremain and Spain and myself did presentations about our groups and aims and took questions from the floor. The attendance was very disappointing 50 ticketed invites had been accepted but half that number attended and conspicuous by their absence was the Press. Guess they are not that concerned about what could happen!!

The Vice Consul, like the Consul and Ambassador last week agreed to take all our points back to the British Government officials and where they can to the Spanish politicians for inclusion in their negotiations.

Yesterday morning a large part of valley was subject to a big electricity outage. This was caused by the failure of a main power cable which was fractured and shorting through water. Endesa worked on it through the night and it took them until almost 2.0pm to repair the cable.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Fair

This Sunday 30th April we are holding the first market of Spring in the Renfe building at La Alfoquia. 

The market has been organised by the Business Association of Lubrin, Zurgena and Arboleas with a number of stalls present.

Throughout the day, there will be held, workshops demonstrating and in some cases showing participants how to work Esparto grass, weave, ceramic painting, making Gurullos, bread making, sewing bags, goats cheese making, rug making, aloe vera cream making, among others. There will also be a dinosaur workshop for the kids.  

The ceramic painting is 1030 to 1330, the cheese workshop is from 1600 x 1700 and the Aloe Vera oil making 1600 x 1900. 

Throughout the day there will be an exhibition of antique country tools and paraphernalia. There is a programme of events throughout the day. The schedule for the day is as follows,

1000 x 1015 Opening of the Market by Luis Diaz Alcalde
1000 x 2000 Exhibition of antique tools and country paraphernalia 
1015 x 1030 Reading of Poems by Carmen Ventao Lopez
1030 x 1130 Dance Exhibition by team from Huercal Overa.
1130 x 1230 Opportunity for visitors to learn the dance with the above team.
1100 x 1230 Judo for children 5 to 8 years of age
1200 x 1400 Storytelling and Games for children
1230 x 1330 What you don't know about Zurgena Isabel Sola Leche
1330 x 1400 Magic show for children
1700 x 1900 Storytelling and Game for Infants
1730 x 1830 Judo for Children 8 to 12 years
1730 x 1830 Conference about food, diet, nutrients and ecological agriculture
1930 x 2000 Magic show for Children
2000 x 203 Dance Group Ria Pita

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Zurgena Town Hall Trip to Gorafe

A few photos of an excellent trip to the ancient Megolithis Park site in Gorafe, Granada Province yesterday..

Very interesting and informative visit with a good guide, a reasonable lunch and lot of laughs.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Market

We are to hold a Spring market on the 30th April at the Renfe.
If anyone is wishing to have a stall please let me know asap.


Round Table with British Ambassador and DExEU team

A brief synopsis of how my day went yesterday at Alicante with Simon Manley and members of the DExEu team (this is the team responsible for advising ministers in Government and assisting them as they approach the Brexit negotiations.

I was one of 18 invited representatives from the expat British community across Southern Spain to attend and take part in this round table event which the Embassy had organised to try and aid the dissemination of facts (such as they are at the moment) to negate the many false rumours and statements doing the rounds from ´Fred up the pub.´Many of the attendees represented active British Charities or groups of concerned expat individuals.

Unfortunately the minister (Rt Hon David Jones MP) was unable to make the meeting due to the announcement by Theresa May of the election and in his place we had a short video presentation by him in which he stressed the importance of citizens rights and how they would be front and centre of all negotiations.

One of the most influential figures in the meeting, appeared to me to be,  Stuart Ison from DExEU. He took responsibility for managing our questions and their responses. 

The issues arising from the floor were unsurprisingly the following (not in any particular order),

Reciprocal Healthcare,
UK State Pensions protection or frozen,
Part years pension in one country and others in another? 
Freedom of Movement
Mutual Recognition of Qualifications
Recognition of Wills
EU Citizen Process
Votes for life
Dual Citizen 
Residency 
Passport
Voting rights in EU country of residence. 
Benefits and taxation issues.

All the above points were recorded and we were assured would be relayed back to the DExEU team in London to help them form the detail from which they would advise the negotiators. These would all probably feature on a linked list of items for discussion in the negotiations.

The only points where the meeting was given any definition of action was in relation to Votes for life, where Stuart said this was still being actively processed in Westminster but that these things take time. He seemed optimistic that it would be passed. The second as on passports and that the office felt confident that no changes would be necessary unless and until a passport expired after Brexit when it could be different to the existing passport. 

What was constantly stressed throughout the meeting by both DExEU and the Ambassador (and in the opening address by David Jones) was the fact that both the British team and so far the Spanish politicians responsible had as their number one priority the preservation as far as is possible of the existing benefits and rights. 

Towards the end of the meeting the DExEU team and the ambassador explained that obviously they cannot divulge too much of the detail prior to negotiations but that they had discussed possibly making a road map available and the release of interim updates. They again reinforced the fact that one of their prime roles within the Brexit office is in helping all UK citizens retain their existing rights. (I took pleasure after the meeting in emphasising to Stuart how much we have invested in his ability to deliver this for us!)

In summary (probably due to their remit) I felt a little more secure that the issue of existing rights was of primary concern to those involved in the process going forward. 

Simon Manley is 9th from the right and Stuart Ison is 6th from the left (sorry about the quality)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Brexit Meeting with British Ambassador

It would appear that the British Ambassador to Spain is attending both the meeting in Madrid in th morning and the one which I am attending in Alicante in the afternoon.

I have just received confirmation of the agenda as below and I (as well as others) will be putting to the Ambassador your concerns regarding the Brexit negotiations and, whilst todays announcement may cause a slight hiatus in the negotiations, I believe we have to continue to press for our rights to be protected no matter the result of the General Election. Unless of course the liberal party win power!

Dear James,
Thank you very much for confirming your attendance at tomorrow's roundtable: 
Hotel Melia, 
Plaza del Puerto, 3, 02001 Alicante
15:30 - 17:00 
The Ambassador will open the meeting by giving a short speech, followed by a representative from the Department for Exiting the European Union. 
We will then open to the floor for discussion.

Bowling Club Zurgena recent Press Release


Monday, April 17, 2017

Library Closed this Wednesday and Thursday Trip Full

Just to inform you that the library in Zurgena will be closed this week on Wednesday and Thursday. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Also there are no places left on this Saturdays trip to Gorafe.