LOTS HAPPENING AROUND ORIHUELA THIS WEEK

Consum car park plans

In the early hours of Friday morning, officers from Orihuela´s local police were alerted to an individual acting suspiciously in the Zenia II urbanisations. Upon arriving at the location, the officers discovered a 32 year old British male, acting “very nervously”, and with “bleeding wounds to his hands”. The officers also noticed that a number of parked vehicles close by had been damaged, and proceeded to arrest the man on suspicion of being responsible for that damage. He was delivered to the Guardia Civil of Torre de la Horadada who are investigating the incident.

Given that the government team of Orihuela are paralysed by the fact they are in a minority, and that the opposition Partido Popular have said that they will actively object to any new proposals in an attempt to govern from opposition, the municipality is still unable to pass a new budget. However, as a natural clearance of money left over from the previous year becomes available, the government will shortly be able to continue with a number of plans which had to be put on hold at the end of last year. For the Orihuela Costa, there are seven “sleeping” projects which can now restart their development, including the accessibility work around the N-332 underpass.

Continuing with the developments to improve access around the La Zenia roundabout of the N-332, the Councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, has met with senior officials from the Consum supermarket chain to see what part they are prepared to play in easing the congestion. Scheurer has proposed to the store that if they were to donate part of their unused car park to the project, this would enable a full size roundabout to be constructed at the access road to the future emergency coordination centre, which would allow for better access to the commercial zone and reduce unnecessary traffic movements. Having realised a 33% drop in takings at the store since the Zenia Boulevard opened, and their subsequent closure of their own car park, the store bosses have said that they are keen to assist in finding any solution that benefits the area and are happy to agree to future meetings to discuss these proposals. The town hall is also meeting with the regional traffic department in Valencia, to ensure that the plans and agreements made with the provincial office in Alicante are suitable and will be able to continue unhindered.

Having been involved in the opening of the new footbridge at La Regia this week, a delegation from the town hall, including the mayor, Monserate Guillén, visited the site of the new roundabout, and confirmed that the project is continuing well. Guillén also confirmed that as money is now becoming available, plans to install a radar speed trap on the road from the N-332 can now also proceed.

The Councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, has been forced to defend both herself and the government team against accusations made by former coastal councillor, Pedro Mancebo. In a Spanish newspaper, Mancebo has criticised the payment for a contractor involved in maintenance work, claiming that the company has been paid in advance for work, a matter strenuously denied by the town hall, who have documents and accounts available if Mancebo would care to check, which shows that the many of the payments in question are historic ones that were due during his time in office, but were never cleared for payment despite approval by the municipal technicians that the work had been completed satisfactorily. A lot of payments are still outstanding, according to Scheurer, but any suggested wrongdoing on the part of the government team in terms of advanced payment is nothing short of a lie.

The bus service provided to Orihuela´s Medieval Market from the coast this year was the most successful ever, according to accounts now available from the operation. In total, the running of two return bus services on the three days, taking in Entre Naranjos, cost the town hall just 70 euro, as passenger numbers were the highest ever, thus reducing the amount the town hall is required to pay to subsidise the service.

The councillor for the coast is awaiting a reply from the company contracted to install information signs at the municipal playgrounds and parks, as this work has never been carried out, despite being arranged a number of years ago. As the contract price is literally just below the 18,000 euro threshold which would have required it to go to public tender, the lack of action by the company is of considerable concern, especially as these signs are a legal requirement.

A musical quintet is touring around various locations of the municipality, and will reach the orihuela costa on the 5th of April. Performing at the ecclesiastical centre, the event will provide a welcome distraction through the medium of classical music. The councillor for the coast is also looking at bringing a medieval market and a fisherman´s market back to the coast this year, as well as the possibility of an eco-market, but the venue is likely to be the municipal car park near to the Zenia Boulevard, in order to maximise the number of people who will visit the event, and be a more central location, with parking, for those outside the usual areas who have benefited in the past from these events.

The town hall has been involved in the promotion of an offer whereas the residents of the municipality of Orihuela were invited to go and watch Elche football club on Sunday. As part of the conditions to obtain the tickets, those who applied were also given a bonus card with which they would urn points when they shop in participating stores in Elche. The promotion has been criticised by the CLR group, with Pedro Mancebo complaining that it encourages commerce in another municipality. Those interested in the game saw it as nothing more than an opportunity to benefit from saving at least 35 euro per ticket for a fun, family day out.

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