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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 
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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Brexit Developements

Those of you who signed up with Eupats will have noticed a dearth of messages lately. This has been due to hiccup with our email management. I am sorting it out and once done it will probably require each supporter to rejoin by clicking on a new link. I hope you will do when you get the message.

In summary we have over the past few weeks and months been organising a coalition of like minded groups across Europe and we are now part of the coalition British in Europe with a support base of many thousands if not millions. We are also looking to form a sub group coalition of groups relative to Spain. We have also joined with other groups in the lobbying in Spain, Britain and Europe but we are now formalising a more structured lobbying strategy.

The most recent affiliation we have formed was with a group called Eurocitizens a group of 400 expats based in Madrid and who have access to some high level Spanish Politicians and reporters. Their representative is Michael Harris see photo below on the left.

In the meantime we have 3 upcoming meetings of some import;

1. 1030am Wednesday 19th April British Embassy, Madrid an address by the Ambassador and his office.
2. 1530pm Wednesday 19th April Similar representatives of the British Government addressing other expat groups in the Melia Hotel, Alicante.
3. 1030 Wednesday 26th April University of Elche a general discussion hosted by Professor Jeremy Macclancy from Oxford University revising the impacts and compiling a paper on these issues.

I hope to attend both 2 and 3 above.

Sorry about the hiccup with the emails we should have it back operational in a week or so.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Posters, Burning Rubbish, Food Parcels & Charity Event

The easter posters are displayed below. No need for translation I think!

Just a reminder that no one is permitted to have open fires now. The Fire Service have imposed the usual restriction from the 1st of this month. Anyone wishing to have such a fire is required to obtain permission through the Town Hall and this is not easily granted. Anyone caught can face substantial fines.

Secondly our thanks again to the members of the Church of Los Llanos Del Peral for their generous donation of 20 bags of food, for distribution to the needy of the villages. These are being handed out today in time for easter weekend.

I have been asked to mention a Charity Event being held on behalf of the Helping Animals Almanzora Charity. They are to hold a Mega Clothing Event in Bar Cielos,Thursday 13th April at 4.0pm. I am advised they have many excellent bargains of new clothing.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Legion, Self Defence and Trip

Last month I visited the Legion at Viator to discuss a possible exercise to be held in our area based upon a simulated emergency, in order that we can learn and educate our citizens and civil protection for such eventualities.

As a result of that meeting they visited our Town Hall to discuss with the Mayor and agree a process. The meeting went really well and we then all conducted a reconnoitre of the area to look at the best areas for them to use as a base for the duration of their exercise. We hope to have the planning done and conduct the exercise by the end of May. Photo below

We are to hold a second ladies self defence course at the Gymnasium near the swimming pool on 29th April at 11.0am until 1.0pm with the usual instructor Juan Luis Rubio Garcia. The cost is €15. Registration is required before 25th April.

There are only a couple of seats left on the Gorafe trip for information.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Brexit Meetings

Well things are certainly hotting up regarding the British governments desire to involve the ex pat communities in the discussions around Brexit.

In the past 24 hours I have received two invites relative to Brexit.

The first is an invite to address a meeting at the University of Elche on 26th April in the presence of the British Consul Sarah Jane Morris and at which, research undertaken by the Oxford University regarding potential impacts of Brexit, and the progress being made in trying to address these issues, will be discussed.

Secondly a Round Table discussion in Madrid on the 19th April in the presence of the British Ambassador Simon Manley and is an opportunity to share ideas and concerns directly with the Department for Exiting the EU.

Both events will be attended by representatives of other groups similar to ours. I am unsure yet whether I will be able to attend both but I will try.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Trip 22nd April and Possible Smart Phone or Computer Help

The Town Hall trip to Gorafe on 22nd April is filling up steadily (details on blog post of 30th March). Just a reminder that if you are interested places are limited and registration is required before 14th April.

I am curious as to whether there are any residents who could benefit from a guiding hand in relation to the use of computers or smart phones. I did raise this about a year ago but got no interest. Recently there have been a couple of people who have called into the Town Hall who said they may be interested in such assistance. So I am asking if anyone out there feels they want some simple steps of advice to give them the confidence to use a smart phone or computer let me know and we will organise something.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


It appears despite my best efforts that the work we have been doing here in Spain and in the UK regarding Brexit has not reached everyone, despite using the medium of internet, press and other publicity.

So I will summarise what we have done and continue to do in this regards.

1. We established the website at

2. We set up a facebook page at

3. We started local lobbying of Spanish politicians.

4. We joined in the comprehensive lobbying of MPs and Lords over the past few months, in fact our efforts were rewarded with the initial passing of the amendment.

5. We have joined an umbrella organisation called British in Europe Coalition ofUK Citizens in Europe with a representation of millions.

6. We are working with our partner groups in planning and presenting lobbying action plans and press  management issues going forward.

7. We have had our representatives meet with senior EU Politicians and ongoing meetings with other politicians.

8. Here in Spain our group has been instrumental in garnering support of many local and regional  Spanish Politicians through the Mancomunidads. I personally have presented at these and got great support for our aims.

9. We circulate any and all information to our group through the Facebook page and the website. We did initially use an email programme but that was costing me too much so I stopped using this and communicate through Facebook and the website.

If you have any questions about what we are doing or wish to help just let know.

Springtime Game Birds Nesting

The below report from a nearby Neighbourhood Watch member goes hand in hand with the erection of a number of signs in the area of Cucador Norte and Los Llanos del Peral.

As Springtime arrives the owners of land who have rights to the game on that land and are protective of them. In some areas they have erected warning signs but obviously, from the report below, others act in a criminal way. If you walk your dogs in the countryside be aware of this 

A member of NHW met a Spanish friend. The gist of what he understood from him is that his dog is poorly and two dogs in Vincente/El Chopo have died as a result of eating meat laced with insecticide when on the rambla between Los Garcias and Los Requenas.
He also said that the area above the rambla, behind Los Carrascos, which is a popular spot for many dogs, is likely to also have received similar treatment.
The 'hunters' are the culprits and are protecting the nests where their future quarry (Partridge and similar ground nesting birds) are currently being raised.
The clumps of grass on the edge of the rambla and even in the middle of the rambla where we are all likely to be walking, is currently very tall and offers good cover for a lump of meat.
So, the message is; keep dogs on leads, perhaps use muzzles, and be watchful when your dogs are sniffing in a spot where a clump of meat could be hidden.