From the Committee of Asociacion Vecinos Puig LLorenca (Cumbre Residents Association)
Following almost 3 years of campaigning by this Association for repairs to the road infrastructure on Cumbre the Government brought a proposal to the Town Hall meeting on Thursday 30th November 2017 to carry out urgent repairs to the roads of Begonias, Camelias, Dalias, Encinas and one road in Kalmias. They also proposed road repairs in Les Fonts, La Joya and to the lighting in areas such as Valle de Portet. These proposals were defeated by the majority Opposition in a vote on Thursday evening. Without becoming involved in the politics these are the facts as we know them.
- In mid 2015 Pedro Soliveres (VAPF) shared with us a plan of several zones including Adelfas, Begonias, Camelias, Encinas, Dalias, Girasoles and Kalmias. That plan was colour coded to show areas of severe degradation and less degradation etc in those zones. He had supplied this plan to the Town Hall and had asked for urgent repairs. He would not give us a copy of this plan but suggested we ask for one at the Town Hall.
- In July 2015 we asked Councillor Rheindorf for a copy of the plan. Councillor Rheindorf immediately denied the existence of any such plan or report in the Town Hall. He stated that he had instructed an independent, external company to carry out assessments of the roads mentioned. In subsequent meetings with the Alcalde and Councillor Rheindorf they promised copies of these reports but always failed to supply them.
- Two weeks later we were given a copy of the ‘’non-existent’’ plan from a different source in the Town Hall. We were also advised that no independent report had been requested or authorised.
- In our meeting with the Town Hall in January 2016 we again raised the matter of urgent road repairs. Councillor Rheindorf advised us that the strategy of the Town Hall had changed and they intended to commission a report to encompass road repairs throughout Benitachell and money from the ‘’savings account’’ would be used to finance it. This would require agreement at a Pleno. Both the PP councillors were present and Councillor Van t’Hoff immediately challenged this statement saying that no such proposal had been discussed inside the Government. These meetings were minuted by us and copies were supplied to all attendees and were not challenged by any councillor.
- Over the last 2 years only a small part of Camelias has seen any repairs although the main road to the Playa has had several areas asphalted. The road from Panorama to the Lady Elizabeth school was asphalted just prior to La Vuelta and we understand that was partly or fully financed by VAPF. Adelfas, Dalias, Encinas, Begonias, Girasoles, Kalmias and the major part of Camelias have not been repaired.
- In June of this year, and after the Town Hall budget was proposed and passed by the majority Government team, Councillor Colomer who was responsible for roads and services resigned from the Government and has since become part of the Opposition.
- On 30th November 2017 Councillor Rheindorf proposed at the Town Hall meeting that there was an urgent need to carry out repairs in some of the zones previously mentioned. The Town Hall technical architect Juan Felipe has recently validated the need in these areas. At no point since the VAPF plan/ report was delivered to the Town Hall in 2015 has the Government made any request to include in the Town Hall budget such ‘’urgent’’ repairs. Not even in their 2017 budget which was approved by them in June of this year and included only around 100,000 euros for infrastructure.
- From 2015 until the second half of this year the Government was in a majority position in the Town Hall and could easily have voted through such an urgent requirement for these roads.
Let us now examine the Pleno and the decision of the Opposition to oppose the proposal to repair the roads.
- Councillor Rheindorf made the proposal to repair the roads in some of the zones and described them as urgent which they are.
- The financial year of the Town Hall is January – December and the opposition argued that it was too late in the financial year to legally apply an investment such as this. They quoted a law of economic stability which apparently is a control on local councils to ensure proper, legitimate financial practices are adhered to. The Alcalde assured them that the Town Hall secretary had advised it was totally legitimate in this case.
- The Opposition asked that the proposal should be left on the table until an independent source of advice was given. This was refused by the Alcalde.
- The Opposition asked that the proposal be withheld and included in the 2018 budget in which they would collaborate to carry out the repairs. This was refused by the Alcalde.
- The Opposition made a statement to the Pleno that they were in total support of the action to repair what was described as urgent repairs to those roads but had serious doubts about the legality within the framework of the law and that that framework demanded specific actions within specific periods of the Pleno agreeing. On the basis that there are very few working days in December because of public holidays, Christmas etc they did not believe it could be done within the legal framework. If it was not done in the legal framework it opened Benitachell to sanctions and the possibility of not being able to make any investment for 2 years.
- The Opposition voted against the proposal.
You now have all of the facts as we know them and you may have questions about certain matters over the past few years. What is a fact is that this Government was a majority coalition until late June 2017. By definition a coalition exists by agreement on policy and decisions. If any member of that coalition is unhappy they can withhold support or raise alternatives for discussion. This coalition did not raise the urgent need for repairs at any Pleno since its election in 2015 but was totally aware of the condition of the roads in question throughout their tenure. Their decisions are taken as a coalition just as their decisions to deprive us of democratic access to the government of Benitachell is taken as a coalition and NO part of that coalition can say differently because they obviously support it. The Opposition have also been aware of the condition of the roads since 2015 as we have made them aware as part of our campaign, but they also did not raise the urgent need for repairs prior to this.
It is our firm belief that the repairs mentioned will take place between now and the election in 2019. All parties will want to either show that they are responsible for carrying out repairs and point fingers at each other as do all politicians. It would be exceptionally bloody minded of any political party not to re-present this issue in the next budget. It is now impossible for any political party to say that they are unaware of any urgent road repair issues on Cumbre and across other areas of Benitachell. We will have to wait and see what transpires.
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On Behalf of the Committee of Asociacion Vecinos Puig LLorenca (Cumbre Residents Association)
President, Asociacion Vecinos Puig LLorenca (Cumbre Residents Association)
This message is issued by the committee of Asociacion Vecinos Puig LLorenca, (Cumbre Residents Association) elected and acting on behalf of the members.