As we reach the end of yet another year, I thought it might be a good time to look back at some of the things we have achieved for the Orihuela Costa during my time as Councillor for the Coast.
There is still a long way to go and much to be done, and of course it is not only frustrating being in a minority government, but as a serving member of the Los Verdes green party of Orihuela, I am also part of a minority group within the minority, which can make things a little harder to achieve. Harder, but not impossible.
We have managed to make numerous improvements already and with a number of major projects all ready to start in the New Year, once the finances have been cleared, you will see many more improvements too.
For now, on behalf of myself and the government team of Orihuela, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and send you good wishes for a peaceful New Year.
Councillor for the Oriihuela Costa and International Residents.
ACTIONS TAKEN ON SINCE FEBRUARY 2013 Orihuela Costa
Lifeguards and Beach Accessibility
As of today we have 4 accessible beaches which during the summer months are equipped with amphibious chairs, platform, and shaded area. The beach at La Zenia also has showers for the disabled citizens. Per today the offer of accessible facilities on the beaches of Orihuela is better than ever and will improve next year again.
The Initiative of the MINISTRY OF STREETS to close 2 of the accesses to the roundabout in La Zenia:
At the present moment the preliminary draft for the two bus stops – forgotten by the previous Government when the N332 was enlarged, and also ignored by the previous 2 councillors – has been approved. The final project is approved by the Ministry (Deputation) to receive a grand.
What else should be said about this matter? The result shows that the different meetings held between myself, Antonio Zapata, our technicians and the responsible at the Ministry were successful.
Any additional output from the N332 in the area between Punta Prima and La Zenia to divert traffic has been denied by the Ministry. They made clear that in no case additional outputs in this section would be authorized. Mr. Mancebo is very aware of this fact, as well as he is aware that no traffic light at the height of Cala Mosca would be allowed, but it seems to produce good headline in the press to keep asking for it.
Improvements to the Public Building:
In the Town Hall there have been some organizational changes that significantly improve citizen services.
It was in March last year that the office of the National Police re-opened, closed for some time before.
The “Padrón” has its own office that ensures more privacy of data processed by citizens attending. This office now has also a tickets dispenser.
The Office for International Residents is attended by an administrative employee with knowledge of English. Previously this office was only attended by the “assessor” (the personal assistant of the Councillor) and therefore very often completely closed.
The tourist office has a separate entrance and the location is shared with International Resident Care to have more flexibility to cover holidays and illness of staff.
The Registry is now staffed by two employees to ensure proper functioning with the new technology, to cover holidays etc.
The Water Office has installed upon my request a ticket dispenser, plus an informative display.
Necessary repairs needed since years such as waterproofing the roof and repair the air conditioning in the hall broken since 2012 and budgeted since 2012 were carried out.
Accessibility of emergency exit and surrounding crossings have been carried out.
The fact that I had in my budget different allocations for infrastructure work on the Coast from previous years but never carried out, leaves me with the suspicion that on the one hand those items were approved at different plenary meetings of the previous local government of the PP but that there was no real intention to carry them out. The same way as I gave order to carry these works out, the previous councillor for Infrastructure, Mr Mancebo, could have done as well.
As can be:
The pedestrian bridge in La Regia:
Previously approved and scheduled for execution in 2012, but not done.
La Zenia pedestrian bridge and Las Piscinas pedestrian bridge:
Offered as improvement by Marcos y Bañuls, but nobody took the necessary steps to carry them out.
New paving of the promenade in Punta Prima:
Executed with the remaining of the amount set up for improvements by Marcos y Bañuls. There was no other project prior to my arrival in February 2013 relating to allocate this money.
The external audits for the Blue Flags and “Q” Quality complained for years about the state of deterioration of this promenade.
Repair tree pits and repair sidewalks broken by palm trees on the two main streets of Aguamarina. It was an amount approved in 2010 but never implemented. The damage created meanwhile by the roots of the palm trees was far higher and the amount increased to 32.000.-€.
New Children’s Park Las Filipinas
Installing a playground and biosaludable equipment in the area of Las Filipinas with arrangement of green area around. This also was established and approved in 2010 and even had a contract AWARDED. Why has it not been carried out previously? Nobody knows.
Roundabout Campoamor N332 and La Regia:
Another contract budgeted and awarded without being executed. Twice the permits from the Ministry of Streets expired with the previous councillor. At my arrival the Ministry of Streets forced us to present the complete project from zero again to obtain a new permit. Since the summer those 2 roundabouts do have a decent look.
Repair and improvement on different playgrounds, such as in the urbanisations of Las Piscinas, La Ciñuelica, La Florida
Following requests from residents, many missing handrails on accesses to different beaches have been replaced and additional railings have been installed, such as in
La Zenia, Cala Cerreda, Calle Mistral, Paseo Maritimo Playa Flamenca, Cabo Roig and more sites.
In Cabo Roig, all border walls are repaired and 700 meters of handrails have been installed.
Avenida de La Playa in La Zenia.:
The foot paths, lighting etc. have been completely redone. The sidewalks are now wide enough for the passage of wheelchairs, the lighting consists of latest LED technology.
I started a very much needed accessibility work in the coastal zone. In spite of the respective laws in force since 1998, accessibility in Orihuela Costa was nearly un-existent, and obviously was not looked into very deeply when it came to surrender the different building sites to the town hall. Since February 2013 over 40 zebra crossings have been adapted for people with disabilities in the following developments:
Campoamor, Cabo Roig, La Regia, La Zenia, La Zenia II, Pau 2, C. Diamante, Villamartin, Pau 3, .Los Pinos
New zebra crossing have been installed in several sites to increase pedestrian safety, such as near the Commercial Center Zenia Boulevard.
Additional stretch of promenade in Cala Capitan:
There has been a construction of the section of boardwalk that was missing in Cala Capitan. Where before there was only a sandy path has been built the missing junction to the existing Paseo.
A very popular Promenade and very well seen by the Auditors of the beaches for the certificates of Blue Flags and Quality-Q.
Path with railing between Aquamarina and Calas de Campoamor:
The Aguamarina Promenade (near the Thursday market) was bounded by a low wall that pedestrians exceeded to use a narrow and dangerous path. Now there are stairs in proper conditions and matching the surrounding frequented by the many visitors to this area.
Pavement sections which were missing have been build in different areas, including:
behind the school / college in Playa Flamenca; in the two tunnels under the N332 up to Playa Flamenca; on the corner of La Regia where also the tree growing right on the sidewalk has been transplanted in the green area; between the commercial centers Los Dolses and La Rioja, where there was no sidewalk and all pedestrians had to walk on the street.
Reform and accessibility of a 60 m. stretch of sidewalk was made in Villamartin
In all these cases the new foot paths are wide enough for wheelchairs.
Parks and sports facilities:
Fenced area for small dogs with agility obstacles in La Florida on Calle Pluton.
Installation of three tennis tables, one in a park in La Florida, one in a park in Campoamor and in the urbanization Horizonte.
We proceeded to the replacement of basketball equipment in different parks, the soccer goals have been replaced or repaired and repainted.
Multiple additional repairs not covered by existing maintenance contracts in Orihuela Costa have been carried out, such as:
Sinking in Calle Papaya, railing and planting in Calle Paraná and many others.
Parks and gardens:
Landscaping of the slopes in Barranco Rubio
Adequacy of irrigation in Campoamor Tarraga Park
Additional landscaping of Villa Piedra
Landscaping, painting and arrangement in La Regia next to the tunnel to N332.
50 rear cargo containers were purchased, as well as 11 side-loading paper and cardboard recycling containers and 2 side-loading containers for plastic recycling.
This money has come out of the budget of the Department of Costa responding to the demands and needs of the residents, replacements for breakage or vandalism.
Biosaludables machines and games:
On the beaches of La Cala Capitan and La Glea the biosaludables machines were replaced.
The beaches of Mil Palmeras, Barranco Rubio, La Glea, Cala Capitan and Playa Flamenca received new and rehabilitated playgrounds.
Conservatory of Flowers
A greenhouse was created to always have available potting flowers and plants. Those have already being used successfully along the Promenade of La Zenia, Cala Cerrada and Aguamarina.
Urban and sports furniture:
We bought street furniture, benches, bicycle parking, pylons etc. amounting to 12,000 as well as 3 ping-pong tables, various goals, basketball nets etc. amounting to 8,000.
Landslides in Cala Capitan.
Since I have assumed the responsibility of the Coastal Department I have exchanged several letters with the Ministry of Costas to clarify responsibilities for landslides in Cala Capitan, the necessary authorizations to act etc. The action proposal about a stabilization system has recently been sent to the Ministry and has been agreed by them. The project is being carried out at the present moment and the work will be done within the next few months, including the repair of the walk way.
For the first time International Resident Care has an administrative officer available during opening hours of the Town Hall. In the past this office was staffed only by the Adviser and closed when the advisor was not available.
We have established a current Mailing List, which contains almost 300 email addresses of administrators, presidents, associations and private citizens, registered under the email of email@example.com, and not, as it was in the past, under the particular email address of an advisor. This means that any change in the Government, this email list will not disappear.
Press releases, information on cultural, sports events etc., any act done by the town hall or by associations, groups etc. are passed onto everybody.
Through this email about 20 requests a ay are answered in different languages.
Reading Point / Library:
The municipal building on Calle Cypres is partially used as Library run only by volunteers. The Department of Costa has proceeded to the purchase of shelves, tables and chairs needed. As of today reading this small library has nearly 150 registered members and more than 10,000 books and equipment that helps people with limited visual ability. Audio books on CD are also available in English language. It is thanks to the coordination by my personal assistant Heike Schug and the work of volunteers that this service can be offered to the citizens of the Coast.
The budgetary commitment to allocate 40% of the money from the sale of municipal land on the coast investments in this area has not changed at all.
This work is paralyzed for more than three years, because of failure of the contractor. The Consellería of Valencia is in charge of the contract and responsible for the work.
WIFI in Orihuela Costa
This very ambitious project was not completed by the former councillor of the PP, David Costa, since the whole project depends on having electricity on Mount Hurchillo where the transmission equipment that would allow to link the districts and the Coast with the centre of Orihuela is positioned.
To this day this transmitter remains without electricity as it was not possible to find a legal and authorized form to have it.
These are some of the many things that were did since February 2013 in Orihuela Costa, prioritizing multiple requests and needs from citizens.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45903/