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Water fun

The councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, has explained this week how the town hall departments of the coast and tourism have collaborated with the company providing beach services, Chiringuitos del Sol, in providing approved and additional access for those beach visitors with mobility problems. Already, the beach at Cala del Bosque has had a shaded platform constructed, along with adapted toilets and a secure area for wheelchairs, showers and a new amphibian chair. The same elements are also being installed at the beaches of playa La Glea, Cala Capitán and Barranco Rubio, meaning that four of the Orihuela Costa´s beaches, those which are reachable by people with difficulties, will be fully adapted to their needs.

In addition, the town hall has secured nearly 18,000 euro funding from the department of health towards beach facilities, which will be used to purchase roll-out pathways from the dedicated areas to the sea. In addition, the money will go towards the purchase of special crutch stations, one of which is located on the sand, the other in the water, so those who are able to walk, albeit with assistance, can use crutches to enter the water, then leave them in the special, floating station, before collecting them and returning to the beach when ready. Finally, there will be an additional amphibian chair purchased, which will mean that there will be a total of 5 available on the beaches.

This reverses the trend of previous years where the contract stipulated that 11 chairs should be provided, although the reality was that only 3 ever were. Now, as the contract for life guards stipulates the provision of 3 chairs, based on the practicality of the operation, and now with this collaboration, the actual quota of chairs available is 5. Cones will also be placed in some areas of the beaches, as it has become a clear problem that able bodied people come to the beach and pitch themselves in the path from the mobility platforms to the beach, thus creating an extra barrier for those who may already have struggled.

The timeframe for objections to the revised plans for building on the Cala Mosca area of the Orihuela Costa is still open, but objections must be filed before the mandatory period of consultation. The full plans are available in the planning department of the Orihuela city town hall, where advice can also be obtained as to how to raise a complaint. The department still stress however that this current period of consultation is for objections to the environmental impact only, issues relating to planning will follow in the next stage of the process.

Plans by the town hall to repair and convert a municipal football field at La Cinuelica into one which could be used by local teams were put on hold due to budget restraints. However, a group of local clubs have got together and agreed to fund the project, which would allow for the local football teams of the Orihuela Costa to use the facilities, without having to pay, which is the case at the municipal sports centre, as that is operated by a private contractor on behalf of the town hall. With this associated agreement, the clubs of the Orihuela Costa would be similar to those in the city who have already been able to make use of municipal facilities without charge. The plans will see the construction of changing rooms and walls being built, with exploratory work already having begun, so as to ensure the fastest possible completion time, once the final project funding is agreed.

Talks are nearing conclusion with the landowner of the space on the Villamartin side of the new pedestrian footbridge over the motorway from La Zenia. It is hoped that the owner will shortly agree the route for a footpath through the land, which will enable the completion of the missing part of this project, a zebra crossing and walkway on the Villamartin side.

Two symbolic “camping gas” lanterns placed on the mountainside in Orihuela, depicting the fires burning during the Moors and Christians conflict, were apparently stolen, as town hall officials discovered as they returned to the site assuming that the lights had simply gone out, intending to relight them. The tradition of illuminating two fires during the biggest event of Orihuela´s fiesta calendar has occurred since the 15th century, with this being the first known recording of such a theft.

The snorkelling guided tours of the Orihuela Costa have proven extremely popular, with the town hall urging anybody interested in attending the Wednesday and Sunday events to book their place quickly, as it is likely that they will be filled to capacity during the operation in July and August. This can be done at the tourist information offices or at the town hall.

A new and unique element of fun will be open soon on the Orihuela Costa, with a summer ice rink and water park being constructed on the wasteland adjacent to the Playa Flamenca Mercadona, near the town hall. The water park will feature inflatable fixtures, with cooling sprays and water flows, whereas the ice rink will be formed of artificial ice, so as not to melt in the searing heat of summer. Due to have opened at the start of the summer season, there has been a delay whilst the organiser ensured that all paperwork, insurance and compliance documents were in order, so as to avoid any issues with the authorities. With the event organisers hoping to return every year, they too are keen to ensure that this first year goes without incident, so as to ensure a long term working relationship with the Orihuela Costa.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44335/

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