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ROADS, RUBBISH AND WEEDS IN ORIHUELA NEWS

La Zenia

The Councillor for Tourism in Orihuela, Rosa Martínez, represented the municipality at a conference held at the headquarters of the Valencia Tourism Agency this week, promoting commerce, business associations and governmental collaboration. The aim of the conference was to promote growth in tourism, with the goal of increasing international visitors by 4.6% in 2014, and domestic tourism by 1.2%. There is some 32 million euro being invested for the general operating of the 2014 to 2015 campaign, with 4 million towards the regionally specific initiatives. Plus, 12 million for promotion, 5 million for communication, as well as 1.2 million to improve beaches and 2.4 million to help tourist towns standardise signage, and other informative infrastructure needs.

The festivities department has announced two events taking place in Orihuela over the next few weeks. On the 26th of January there will be a Moors and Christians parade through the city streets, as the “half year” is marked between the major fiesta celebrated in July. In addition, the Medieval Market returns to Orihuela next weekend, held on the 1st and 2nd of February this year, with buses provided from the coast. This event, which is without doubt one of the biggest in Europe, takes place in the historic streets of Orihuela, where visitors are truly absorbed into the feeling of travelling through time.

The provincial president of the Partido Popular, José Císcar, has announced that the local president of the Orihuela PP, Pepa Ferrando, is part of his group’s team who will be fighting for support in the upcoming European elections. Ferrando took over the local group after Mónica Lorente was forced to stand aside having been named in the famous Brugal corruption case. Ferrando herself has been denounced by the PSOE for irregularities relating to invoices for the FITUR tourism event, and may face charges in the future.

The main road leading from the La Zenia roundabout to the coast has opened this week, after extensive work implemented by the coastal councillor. Although Scheurer says that some of the aesthetic work is not complete, as the town hall is still awaiting a number of items of street furniture, the main work is now finished and so the road has been reopened pending these outstanding elements. The next stage, according to Scheurer, will be to look at some of the surrounding streets, including the coastal road, and see what improvements could be made to those, some of which have never seen any improvements since first constructed.

Figures released this week by the town hall have revealed incredible savings in the costs of waste collection and disposal, reporting that in 2013, whilst under the direct management of the town hall, the cost of collection alone has saved 239,998.74 euro compared to the previous year. As part of this, although marginally at just over 60 additional tonnes, revenue generated by recycling has increased in 2013, but the department of the environment has pointed out that the more waste that is separated into the correct and relevant disposal containers, the more money the town hall can make, and, subsequently, the less public money has to be spent on one of the most costly elements of the town hall operation.

A number of areas on the coast are still missing paving stones on pedestrian areas, where they have become damaged or broken. A problem in that the type of slab was discontinued as the town hall has now find an alternative supplier who will be manufacturing matching paving stones, as well as a number of spares, which will all soon be delivered and enable the town hall teams to carry out these outstanding repairs.

Numerous coastal residents have noticed town hall teams carrying out extensive work to clear overgrown weeds and plants on the roads of the area. One such road is Calle Arco Iris, which has been thoroughly cleared of overgrowing weeds in the central reservation, and chemically treated to slow down future growth of these plants. Previously, there were no staff within the town hall teams qualified to handle the chemicals needed for this treatment, but the matter has been resolved by finding a private contractor who can fulfil the requirements of the Health and Safety requirements within an allocated budget.

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