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This week the headline in an Orihuela city newspaper was “€320,000 to be invested in improving 8 parks and gardens in Orihuela city and its surrounding villages”. What the headline did not say was: “Orihuela Costa nothing”. This is scandalous. Orihuela Costa does not have a single park which can be properly called a park. One of the most densely populated parts of Orihuela Costa, La Florida, not only does not have what can be properly called a park, the waste land which is designated a park is not even maintained.

The maintenance contract for parks and gardens on the coast only covers 60% of Orihuela Costa’s so-called parks and gardens and this maintenance is basic at best. It does not provide for improvements which are financed by investments. The remaining 40% of Orihuela Costa’s parks and gardens are not covered at all and are left to nature. The results are visible as per La Florida. Orihuela Costa is already the poor relation of Orihuela in terms of parks and gardens and much more. The new investment for parks and gardens in the city and surrounding and villages adds insult to injury.

This is why the Orihuela Town Hall’s decision to spend ALL of €320,000 (a combination of provincial and Town Hall funds) is scandalous. It is also scandalous that the long established principle, accepted by all parties, government and opposition, that 40% of investments should be devoted to Orihuela Costa, has not been respected.

The commitment to provide Orihuela Costa with 40% of Investment funds recognises both the historic under-investment in Orihuela Costa and the fact that the population, which is now 33,690, is equal to or greater than the population of Orihuela city and approaching 40% of the total. The surrounding villages which will benefit most from this €320,000 investment have a much smaller percentage of the population than the coast and the city.

With the next local elections only 8 months away in May, 2015, we shall have to look out for political opportunism like this which appeals to potential voters rather than fair treatment of the different components of the population of the municipality.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45047/

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