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INVESTMENTS, ROADS AND URBAN CLEANING IN ORIHUELA NEWS

The N332 Roundabout

As part of their contractual obligations to the municipality of Orihuela, water utility company Aguagest provide funding to the town hall for infrastructure improvements, investment or repair. This year, the coastal zone will receive some 54% of the million euro grant, which will go towards projects such as almost 60,000 euro for drainage work to protect the electricity power transformer at Cabo Roig, over 350,000 euro for channelling work to prevent flooding in the Calle California area and over 110,000 euro towards similar work in the Pau 27 zone. Funding will also go towards flood defence and protection in the Los Filipinas at Villamartin areas.

Friday saw the public consultation meeting at the town hall regarding the proposed closure of access roads from the N-332 roundabout. The councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, explained to those attending what steps the town hall team had agreed with the Ministry for roads, including the proposals to apply for the removal of tolls on the motorway, the installation of a mini roundabout at the crossroads access point of the pending emergency coordination centre, and the compromise to make the access roads one-way, rather than a complete closure, all of which were greeted with positivity by the ministerial planning department. Scheurer also detailed the agreements made for the local police to monitor traffic flow and provide detailed reports in time for their next meeting, which will be in a matter of weeks.

The courts in Elche announced this week that the judge looking into the case surrounding the blocking of a censure motion by the Table of Elders plans to issue an interim report on the case on the 6th of February. Although this will not be the final ruling in the case, it is believed that the judge will formally state whether or not a case is answerable or not. Sources at the courts have indicated that this move is an unprecedented one, and would not normally be necessary in the event of the case proceeding through the legal process, and could indicate a faster conclusion to the ruling.

The Mayor of Orihuela, Monserrate Guillén, announced this week that the operation for urban cleaning and waste management ended 2013 with 5,624 euro left in their accounts. Therefore, Guillén explained, has been below the budgeted amount of 8.8 million euro. However, Guillén also pointed out that the savings to the tax payer have been “considerable”, due to the municipalisation of the service, whereas keeping the contract under the direct control of the town hall has resulted in a 21% saving on paying IVA, plus 6% industrial benefit or 12% overhead s. Therefore, the total amount the residents have been saved by the town hall is between 30% and 40% compared to the contract being run by a private company, which is seen as one of the main priorities of the Partido Popular, along with their CLR colleagues.

The Urban department has received and responded to a total of 135 incidents relating to urban cleaning, excluding those received through the on-line Linea Verde network, which are all either resolved or being resolved. During the financial presentation on savings in urban waste, Guillén said, “I am pleased and proud of the work of the Urban Sanitation employees that have also made an effort to sign the collective agreement”, referring to discussions and agreements made with and supported by the workers for their employment terms.

The department of pedanías, the small villages scattered through the municipality of Orihuela, has started work repairing various roads in the Virgen del Camino area, which have seen considerable neglect for some time. The work was awarded to a company named Elena Constantin, to the value of 20,291 euro. The work was seen as necessary due to the inaccessibility of some of the pavements in the area, largely due to roots from ficus plants damaging the pathways, but a lack of adequate lighting also made the area particularly difficult. Therefore, the plan was adopted to remove 13 ficus and relocate them, remove the terrazzo pavement and replace it with a more sustainable feature, the movement of telegraph poles and the installation of street lighting.

The municipal government coalition of the Los Verdes and PSOE have announced the proposal of a formal motion to the plenary meeting this week, which will be put to the vote, to formally record that the government of Orihuela aims to do everything possible to assist in protection home owners at risk of eviction and foreclosure due to the loss of work or the overall financial situation. The motion will propose two aims, including urging the central government to “develop the third paragraph of the revised text of the Law Regulating Local Tax to define the concept of unoccupied dwelling”, preventing tax increases and other financial burdens on properties which have become vacant, and to urge assurances and legal protection to those who have found themselves unemployed and affected by the financial crisis.

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