This is my blog of anything I consider worth communicating to anyone interested in the happenings in our small Spanish municipality.
It is primarily communications of Town Hall issues but also may include other types of information if worthwhile.
To contact me please click on this link
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.