With Easter fast approaching, the rush to prepare the beaches of the southern Costa Blanca is proceeding well, but the provision of services in both Torrevieja and Orihuela is not going quite as smoothly as might be hoped.

In Torrevieja, there will not be any life guards on the beaches for the second consecutive year, due to a reduction in the budget allocated to provide this life saving service, with the allocated 700,000 euro of previous years being reduced to 500,000, thus giving focus on the summer months only.

In Orihuela, the beaches there will have life guards for Easter, but do to the private company contracted to the municipality facing bankruptcy, they have resigned from the contract, once their Easter commitment has been fulfilled. Although this means that there is currently no provision for the summer, the councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, explains that it will mean that the contract can be rewritten before being put to tender, eliminating some of the erroneous and problematic clauses currently in force.

The contract for the chiringuito beach bars has already been put to public tender in Torrevieja, a process which also had to be amended, due to corrections being made to the terms of the provision, but this appears to be progressing now, meaning despite the bathers of Torrevieja not having anybody on hand to save their life, should they get into difficulty, they will at least be able to enjoy a drink and a snack.

The story is also reversed in Orihuela at the moment, with the tender process there becoming almost paralysed, due to complaints raised about the contract requiring the bidders to be accredited with quality standards. The arguments surround allegations that whilst attempting to fulfil the criteria of the standards required for the beaches to remain of the highest quality possible, this restricts the number of companies who can bid, and is potentially tantamount to creating unfair competition.

With Easter falling so late this year, and the end of April to early March period being notoriously bad in terms of rainfall, there is of course the chance that nobody will consider going to the beach whilst they are taking a break in either Torrevieja or Orihuela, waiting until the hot summer months.

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