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The current councillor for the Orihuela Costa, Martina Scheurer of the Los Verdes green party, has announced that she will not be standing in the next elections in May.

The move will not only mean the end of a councillor that many have seen as both popular and committed to the coast, but also her assistant, Heike Schug, who has also been praised for her work during their time in the role serving the coast and international residents.

When asked for the reason why she will not be standing, Scheurer responded, saying, “my health and my marriage are more important than the politics of Orihuela”.

Despite having their differences on a number of topics, Scheurer also said that she has to agree with CLARO councillor Bob Houliston, when he says that the Orihuela Costa is continually neglected by the municipal government. “With the exception of one or two, none of the councillors are interested in the coast”, a fact which has apparently become more apparent during her time in office.

“As a minority councillor in a minority group (Los Verdes) in a coalition of a minority government, one person cannot change it all, I have seen that. Even little things like trying to arrange the Christmas lights for the coast meant hurdles to jump to get agreement from my own government members, such as Carolina Gracia from festivities”, continuing, “the same is in infrastructure, it is almost impossible to get agreement from those politicians who have never even attended the site meetings and seen the problems on the coast”, referring to the most recently appointed council member, Victor Ruíz.

Scheurer also upset her colleagues in an interview on radio this week, when asked about the reasons why major projects like the park at La Regia are still outstanding, explaining how, “I have done everything I can, prepared the projects, planned and submitted everything needed, but, in my personal opinion, I can´t see the money from the sale of land being released during our term. It is in the hands of the municipal auditors, and they say that there are still many legal requirements to satisfy before the money can be released, such as paying off debts and other priorities. I am not saying that they will never be completed and the money never released, but I can´t see it happening during this administration”.

“Maybe that´s why I´m not like other politicians, Scheurer says, “You have to be political and hide things but the truth is more important instead of stringing people along making false promises that may not be achieved”.

“It is very frustrating to be in a position with no real power to make a difference”, she continued, “constantly many people say how the Orihuela Costa has 35,000 residents and should take priority over the city as the coast pays more in taxes, but it is simply not actually true. Yes, those people reside on the coast, but when it comes to making an actual difference, how many are registered to and take the trouble to vote? Only a small fraction. That is the real figure, the voters, those who can make a difference and do. Without the support, nobody can enforce change”. During the end of year campaign to encourage residents to ensure they are on the voters register, there were only around 200 additional people registered, “To see that is the most disappointing thing. If there had been an increase in voting interest things would be different”.

When asked if she will still continue with her political life within the Los Verdes, that response too was “no”, which will be a sad loss to many of those who have come to know the coastal management team during their time in the town hall, and no doubt also spells the end of the Los Verdes, who are contesting the elections but have already agreed a pact in which to try to battle the two biggest parties dominating the past, the PP and the PSOE, with the only apparent hope for the Orihuela Costa now being a radical rethink of the commitment by those parties, or the trust in the smaller groups who are still trying to have the voice of the coast heard.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46285/

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